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/ never seen that [violence] as not the waif to go, IjMst seen It as \ 
life, Even though It's not the right thing, It's what will get thejoh" 
done and get ifonr stripes on these streets, It's what nnf ninjas 
tanght me, 

read the rest of ionng Chne's TOW on page 5 

^irmmmimi/mf/ j^ . /// * ////#/ 

Sometimes at the beginning of the Beat week, 

we look at this blank page reserved for our Editor's Note, and we 
just stare, wondering if we have anything of value to S9^ today. 
But, of course, even when we have to struggle, we still have to 
%9^ something. The "something" we're talking about today is 
punishment — what it means, what it accomplishes, what it reveals 
about those who ^te punished and about those who punish. 

Everybody who works at The Beat got here along entirely 
different routes. Our founder, David Inocencio, was a social worker 
at %skn Francisco's Juvenile Hall. Some just drifted into the job, 
ending up here just by chance, Sk% many of us end up in the work 
we do. And quite a few came through the system. Introduced to 
The Beat in juvenile hall workshops, they decided to continue the 
relationship on the outs. 

This came originally from Michael iiroll who came to The Beat 
through his writing about criminal justice issues.. Since you ^te 
all writers yourselves, you know that sometimes you just have 
to write because you have something to ssk^. That's how this ed 
note was written. Michael was looking at the %und9^ comics in the 
newspaper, and a Dennis The Menace Cartoon made him do more 
than laugh. It also made him think... about the whole concept of 
punishment. This is what his thinking produced: 

What is the nature of punishment? Believe it or not, I began 
ruminating on this question — one that is hardly ever asked in 
this country — while looking at a Dennis The Menace cartoon in 
^estetdsk^'s newspaper. Dennis was in his familiar place in the corner 
facing the wall, a baseball bat, ball and mitt at his feet. He is 
saying, "Baseball players ^te sent to the showers... not the corner!" 
One can imagine the defiant anger in his voice as he laments his 

Even at age six, when sent to the corner, Dennis becomes a 
victim in his own mind. "She did this to me," his child's mind thinks 
about his mother and temporary jailer. There is no hint of the 
"crime" that sent him to house attest, except for the likelihood that 
it was related to that bat and ball. And, Sks amused Sks we Skte at his 
observation, we also recognize his set%se of being the victim, and 
we feel his pain. 

But, without the critical connection between cause and effect, 
what purpose does his punishment setMel And how do we define 
it? How do we distinguish between the immediate reaction to 
behavior we want to correct - that literal slap on the wrist when 
a child is found with his or her hand in the cookie jar, or the pain 
one feels when touching a hot stove — and the more deliberately 
thought-out consequences that ate stretched out over time, often 
involving formal and time-consuming processes before they can be 
implemented? Our notions of right and wrong, of acceptable and 
unacceptable behavior, ate conditioned by those instant responses 
to the choices we make. In those situations, it is impossible to 
escape personal responsibility. The tienLus between what we did and 
the response is much too close to permit our minds to justify our 
acts or to lay responsibility on the shoulders of others. 

Formal "punishment," on the other hand, is a time-consuming 
process (whether we're talking hours or ^eats\, which allows just 
such rationalizations to occur, rationalizations which undermine 
its Met^ purpose — or, at least, the purpose we want to believe it 
accomplishes. Like Dennis standing in the corner, those we process 
through our formal system of punishment (for crime) ate so far 
removed from the precipitating cause of the system's response, they 
ate easily able to recast themselves into the role of victims. And, 
indeed, they ate not wrong. Now, stripped of power to do anything 
but respond to officials, they ate subjected to the indignities that 
those with newly acquired power over their lives routinely subject 
them to. 

I spend hours eMet^ week conducting writing workshops in 
county juvenile halls where teenagers ate routinely sent to "punish" 
them for selling drugs, for engaging in gang activities, and for 
carrying and using guns. And yet, though they know they ate there 
to be "punished," when told what to do by staff eMet^ minute of the 
day (and often subjected to the arbitrary misuse of this corrupting 
power), these young "criminals" write almost exclusively about how 
they ate victims of the system, about how they ate "being played" 

— by the cops, by the courts, by the counselors, by "the system." 
It's a Met^ tate individual who actually ponders the relationship 
between the specific acts leading to these long-term consequences 
and the degrading powerless position they now occupy. Even the 
ubiquitous "Do-the-crime, do-the-time" response is nothing more 
than a cliche that prompts no real setise of personal responsibility, 
the sine qua non of successful punishment, where success is defined 
as moderating future behavior. 

Perhaps it is this disconnect that leads to such astonishing rates 
of re-offending when it comes to California's juvenile detainees. 
According to the California Division of Juvenile Justice, "70% of 
state-committed youth ate te-attested within two yeats of release." 
(http;// The actual rate of 
recidivism must be even higher, since so many perpetrators escape 
detection and, therefore, punishment. 

No private company — indeed, no other government agency 

— could long survive with such rates of failure. Yet, we continue 
this failed structure of crime and punishment yeat after yeat after 

yeat. Which leads back to the original question inspired by that 
Dennis The Menace cartoon: What is the natute of punishment? If 
the system does not work to end or seriously curtail the behavior 
we claim we ate trying to affect, then why do we keep doing it? 

The answet might have more to do with us, the punishers, 
than with the punished. Perhaps we derive some unacknowledged 
— even unconscious — satisfaction in the suffering of others. Or, 
perhaps it's not their suffering we desire as much as the sense of 
control we gain from exerting official power over others. Maybe 
the motivation is even deeper, even more sinister, lodged in our 
reptilian brains, human traits we would rather not explore because 
they reveal more about us than we want to know. 

These ate questions without answets, reflections on a topic 
that we seldom ponder. If we're serious about creating a safer 
society, it's way past time for such serious reflection. 

Michael's reflections on punishment were published on the 
worldwide web, which generated a response from Buddhist priest, 
iiobutsu Malone. We'te including just two paragraphs from his 800- 
word essay that takes the discussion to the next level. Reverend 
iiobutsu wrote: 

'The net result of any hind of punishment is repressed anger 
or internalized oppression, humiliation and degradation for both 
the giver and the receiver of the punishment. It is difficult indeed 
to really see the profound depth of this truth because we as 
individuals and collectively as a society live within an oppressive 
and coercive environment. Our vision is completely blocked to the 
truth by materialism in the physical, psychological and spiritual 
aspects of our lives. Arrogance and aggression permeate our 
society, our history, our religious traditions, our so-called "judicial 
system" to the point that we can not see clearly enough to question 
the premise of punishment on a fundamental level. We live in a 
nation surrounded by violence, violence and the infliction of pain 
is almost worshiped in our entertainment, our "news" reporting 
and in our day-to-day interrelationships with each other. We fail to 
perceive that this is a legacy of hatred and oppression that we have 
inherited from our parents and they from theirs. We forget that our 
country was founded on the violent conquest and enslavement of 
indigenous peoples. Our "history" is presented in schools as "patriotic 
mythology" that hides the reality that our nation perpetrated the 
institution of racial siavety of African people for generations for 
the economic gain for people of privilege and wealth. We fail to 
perceive how our religious traditions have been used to justify the 
perpetration of genocide and slaughter on indigenous people in the 
name of "civilization." 

"I submit that punishment is uncivilized and setves no purpose 
other than the perpetuation of oppression. - I was punished, 
therefore it is justifiable for me to punish another. I was spanked 
as a child - it did me no harm - therefore I can spank my children. 
However, deep introspection into our own experience reveals the 
painful and horrible truth. It is through the means of introspection 
and insight that we can begin to perceive our addiction to the 
assumption that punishment is an acceptable mode of behavior." 

Most of us nevet really challenge the vety concept of punishment 
itself, and that might also apply to you writer/readers of The Beat. 
But it's a subject we would love to know your thoughts about, since 
punishment is a central reality of your lives. Give it some thought, 
and then give us the written benefits of those thoughts... 

Which leads us to this week's Beat topics... "Power Without 
Violence" - 

Is violence a necessaty ingredient of power? Can you be 
powerful without violence? Are there people you know who, just 
by how they speak or catty themselves, other people listen to? Do 
you have personal power that does not rely on weapons or fists or 
threats of violence? Where does that power come from? How would 
you describe it? How do you use it? Can you relate an example 
where you, or someone you know, was able to exert power that did 
not involve violence? Do you believe the old saying that "the pen is 
mightier than the sword?" 

Our second topic, "Losing Patience" - What have you tun out 
of patience about? We read evety week about how tired you ate 
of coming here, but not tired enough to stay out of here. So what 
will it take for you to lose patience with yourself for coming here? 
What would it look like if you lost patience with yourself or with 
someone else? What or who did you used to have patience with in 
the past, but you finally lost it? How do you express yourself when 
you're out of patience? Are there people in your life who have lost 
patience with you? Why? 

The last topic, "Super Hero, Super Heroine" - We've all grown up 
on movies and comic books filled with Super Heroes and Heroines. 
Often, we imagine what life would be like if we had super powers 
like them. So, tell us who your favorite Super Hero or Heroine is (or 
was), and why you chose him or her. What special super powers do 
they possess that you wish you had. And what would you do if you 
had those powers? 

Thank you ed. note teadets, this one goes out to the vety gifted 
baseball player, lien Griffey Jr. for hitting 600 bombs! Only six 
players have ever hit more than 600 homers, can you name them, 
you have Griffey, so tell us who the other five ate in this elite club! 
See you next week! 

mam ffff/rr/frs 

censor inappr 

To our writers: What you write could be h 
consequences, and could be used to incrim 
feelings and viewpoints without running the 

Co-founders: Sandy Clos 

THe BeStt Within, a weekly newsletter of writing ar 
incarcerated youth, is published by Pacific News Service. 

At The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor 
sexual remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is eno 
our commuities already-we don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Be 
promote peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another. 

The Beat Within publishes the opinions and views expressed by tl 
in our workshops. This is simply the pure voice of the youth. T 
read do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher, editor or sl 
are reserved. Nothing from this publication can be reproduced wit 

-dous to you. Your wc 
te you. Try to illumir 
k of providing ammui 

Senior Editors: David Inocencio 

Assistant Editors: Michael Kroll, Omar Turcios 

Graphics/Layout Editor: Manen Pau 

Staff: Pauline Craig, Carolyn Goossen, Jill Wolfson, Allan Martinez, Patricia 
Johnson, Amanda Abies, Dennis Morton, Sheerly Avni, Jennifer Clarke, Brit- 
tany Bernard, Perry Jones, Brenda Navarro, Samantha Navarro, Victor Peter- 
son, Laura Vitaro, Justine Palefsky, Karla Serrano, Alissa Blackman, Will Roy, 
Angel Ryono, Elizabeth Crawford, Morghan Velez Young, Siliva Mortenson, 
Andrew Barba, Estella Cisneros, Allen Huang, Nic Reiner, Angelica Zabanal, 
Charles Labanowski, Kolby Hanson, Chelsea Sprick, Akima Edwards, Alfred 
Dersidan and Neela Banerjee. 

The Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, Juvenile Probation Department 
Beat Staff: Joe Szulecewski, M.A., Lisa Donsker, M.C., Hillary Shluker, M.C., 
Lisa Karczewski, M.A. The detention staff are: Tammie Utter, Shannon Lech- 
ner, D. Scott Herrmann, Ph.D. Clinical Director. 

Bernalillio County Juvenile Detention & Youth Services Center Beat Staff: 

Steve Serna 

Art: Much props to everyone for the great art this week. 

Spiritual Advisor: Jac 
Special Volunteer: Na 

Book Donor: Marisela Norte 

Beat Supporters: The Beat Within greatefully acknowledges the generous sup- 
port of funders of Pacific News Service's Youth Communications Programs 
- California Arts Council, California Wellness Foundation, Christensen Fund, 
Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation 
of California, Compton Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Cricket Island Foun- 
dation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Ford Foundation, James Irvine Foun- 
dation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Morris 
Stulsaft Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Oakland Fund for Children 
and Youth, Open Society Institute, Peninsula Community Foundation, Phil- 
anthropic Ventures Foundation, S. H. Cowell Foundation, San Francisco Arts 
Commission, San Francisco Foundation, Shinnyo-en Foundation, W. Clement 
and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, Stone Circles Foundation, Stuart Foundation, 
Surdna Foundation, The California Endowment, Tides Foundation, Van Loben 
Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation, Vanguard Public Foundation, Wallace Alexan- 
der Gerbode Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Youth Justice Funding 
Collaborative, the Zellerbach Family Fund and individual donors. 

Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francis- 
co, Maricopa County Arizona, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Bernalillio 
County New Mexico, Santa Cruz and Marin County Juvenile Halls. If you have 
any questions or comments about The Beat Within, or if you would like to 
become a subscriber, contact us at: 275 Ninth St. SFCA. 94103 or call (415) 
503-4170 or check us out at: 


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jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

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Running Ont Of Patience 

I always run out of patience in juvenile hall. These girls 
are so irritating. And I really did not choose to come here. 
No one expected me to come here. It would look pretty 
bad if I lost patience on someone because in juvenile hall 
the smallest things get irritating. 

I used to always be quiet and calm, but now I don't have 
patience for anything. If someone or something is taking 
too long to do something or come, I get really irritated 
and lose my patience. When I lose my patience I get really 
angry and I feel like I want to throw something. 

A lot of people had lost patience with me, and it 
has been for stupid things. But I have been forgiven for 
everything. People love me. I am a lovable person, but 
don't irritate me because then I will lose my patience and 
turn into not a likable person. 


-Knhwj, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Thanks for writing such a complete description of your 
relationships with patience. Why do you think you've grown less patient 
over time? Are you trying to go back to being the patient person you 
used to be, or are you happy with how you are now? 

Supa Skills 

Growin' up, I always idolized Superman (lol) because he 
could do everything al the other super heroes could do. 
He was truly super. Another thing I liked about him was 
he only used his super powers for good. 

Even now, as I'm older, I wish I had his powers. 
Especially the power to teleport. If I could, I would be 
teleportin' back and forth between each of my family 
members, spending time with all of 'em. 

But one thing Superman didn't have was the power 
to cure. If I could do that, I would teleport back and forth 
from 'hood to 'hood and start by curing crack heads and 
drug users of their addictions. My next move would be to 
cure the world of ignorance. 

The rest I would leave up to God because I don't wanna 
mess with His work. And I know for a fact, super hero or 
not. He is the highest power and will guide the rest. 

-Fresh, San Francisco 

From The Beat: This is a wonderful piece of writing! Not only do you 
take our topic seriously, but you choose to do some truly wonderful 
things with your imagined super power while ultimately recognizing 
that, in the end, you're just human, like all of u%. Thank you for giving 
the subject thought and writing something worth reading! 


What's crackin' with The Beat? This yo' boy Sobolo 
holdin' it down fo' the block. Today I wanna tell you a 
little somethin' about time. 

When you're in the halls, time is neva a problem. You 
got all the time in the world. I've seen a lot of people come 
through those doors and get all mad, talkin' about, "I'm 
tired of bein' here." You ain't tired! If you were tired of 
bein' here, you would've thought twice about what you're 
doin' before you did the crime. And if you don't want to do 
the time, then don't do the crime. 

I mean, moms tryin' to help save your life by tellin' 
you don't go out; don't rob anybody; don't do anything 
stupid. And yo' ass still don't listen. So, you either got 
back in here or you'll be dead on the street, and moms 
don't even know where you at. 

So I'ma tell y'all this once if you' ass don't wanna do 
the time, then don't do the crime. 

-Sobolo, San Francisco 

From The Beat: This advice leaves u% with just one question: why didn't 
you follow it? it seems so simple — don't do the crime if you don't want 
to pay the consequences. But even knowing that, here you are! What 

My Mnthers Day 

What is Mothers' Day? A day to give your mother thanks 
for all she has done for you. But for me mothers day is just 
a day to realize what I don't have. Which is a mother. 

I don't understand how a mother can leave her kids. 
How can a mother lose her love for her own children. 

My mother left me out of nowhere when I was 12. Why 
I couldn't tell you. Left without saying bye - no reason, no 
phone call, no note, no nothing. 

I'll always wonder why it happened. But she was in 
and out of my life since day one. I know I say I don't care 
and act like it doesn't hurt, but truth is, it does. I think 
this has affected my life in some ways - not having this 
person in my life. But I try not to let it get to me so much. 
I tell myself how can you love some body you never really 
knew, right? 

What really hurts me inside is the fact she has two of 
my younger siblings. I just pray to find they aren't going 
through what me and my older brother went through - 
the words, the beatings. I hope my mother feels the pain 
I have felt, wishing she was here. I hope she knows what 
she lost. 

So Mothers' Day will just be like any other day for 
me in this piece. I just hope she knows if she decides to 
come back, this time I wont be there for her. I'm ghost 

-Geneuieve, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You have good reason for your %skAne%%. We don't know 
your mom or what she's been through. But we're betting that her live 
hasn't been so smooth, or trouble free. Your job is to take good care 
of yourself. You deserve better, but you have to start by being better 
to yourself. As time fiSk%%e%, your personal history will be easier to 
understand, and in understanding, there may come a measure of peace. 
You've seen how not to 'do it'. Learn from the mistakes of those about 
you, including your mother's mistakes, and your own. T^y your hardest 
not to repeat the errors you know about. You'll make mistakes. We all 
do, all our lives. But try to make 'new' mistakes. The old ones don't 
deserve repeating. 

What Do You Do? 

My eyes are filled with fear 

You see, there is this boy I hold so dear 

In my heart, I know what I must do 

And it seems to be making me blue 

I love him with all my heart 

But we're better off without 

I'm done being used by him 

I'm done being emotionally abused by him 

But I'm so scared of losing him 

What do you do when the only one who can take away 

your tears is the one who made you cry? 

Sometimes he made me feel like I just wanted to die 

I couldn't sleep without him, so I stayed high 

I smoked crank all day, and stayed out all night 

I know now that wasn't right 

Nobody I want to be with should make me feel that way 

But when I talked to him today, he told me he wanted to 

get back with me 

And for the first time in months 

I didn't want him anymore 

I guess because, I gained the control 

I was the leading lady, number one role 

No longer second to the other girl, he was mine first 


At first I wanted to play his game too, but then I 

remembered, I'm better than you! 

-Stormi, Alameda 

From The Beat: Thank you for sharing this poem about the pain and 
complications that come along with love and relationships. No one 
should have to deal with abuse in a relationship. So glad to hear you 
sticking up for yourself! 


jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

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All Guys Are Not The Same 

Well today I want to write about how girls say all guys 
are the same and it's not true 'cause I'm not. I was in a 
relationship for well over ten months. I loved every moment 
wit this girl I loved her so much and still I continue to love 
her wit all my heart. 

Well I remember how she came over one night all I did 
was kissed her and that was it and then two days later 
on May seventh, she came over again and that's when we 
first made love. I was so happy to find some one like her 
she was my everything. 

The first few months we were together I was on house 
arrest. It was cool, but it was not what I wanted. 

Well, back to the first month. I found out we were 
going to have a baby. We became so close together she 
slept at my house almost everyday it was great. 

Then all of a sudden something happened and I went 
on the run for two weeks. We got caught up in a g-ride and 
went in the hall for my first time for about three months. 
During that time she was writing me everyday. I felt so 
much love from her every letter made me happy. 

One night I felt something weird and then time went by 
and again I felt some thing weird. But I let it go whatever 
it was. 

When I got out on Dec. 20 2007 I was out, for about 
two months I found out so much about this girl I thought 
I knew, she cheated on me wit' my homie but she also got 
raped. But she also had another boyfriend. She thought I 
wouldn't find out but I did. 

So then I got locked up again for two months. This 
time we weren't together, but when I get out she tried 
so hard to get back wit' me as much as I didn't want her 
back, I just couldn't say no. She means so much to me. 

So then I took her back knowing how much she hurt 
me already. We even found out she was gonna have a baby 
and not from me it was some other guy's baby. Well I took 
her back and I thought every thing was perfect again but 
then three weeks later she left me again for her baby's 
daddy. It hurt me so much to hear her say those words. 

Well there is so much to say but my main point it 
that she told me she wanted someone different. I was that 
someone. But what she needed was to be real to me and 
she wasn't I never cheated on her once. I even lost my 
virginity to her. 

-Rasrmond, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: You're right not all guys are the same. We're sorry to 
hear that the girl played you, but not all girls are the same either. You 
just made a mistake and fell for the wrong one. You were inexperienced, 
or maybe it was a first love kind of thing. Remember, all wounds heal in 
time. But you're a good dude with a positive attitude. Stay like that and 
positive things will come. Thanks for this heartfelt piece too! 

It's What I Was Taught 

I was always taught from when I was little kickin' it at the 
park, to kickin' it with my homies that violence is power. 
Beating up the next person gives you power inside is what 
they taught me. From fighting to letting the strap breathe 
is die way to solve any problems on these streets. 

I never seen that as not the way to go, I just seen it 
as life. Even though it's not the right thing, it's what will 
get the job done and get your stripes on these streets. It's 
what my ninjas taught me. 

-Young Chue, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We can certainly appreciate that this is how you were 
taught. But have you ever questioned that "education." After all, 
children are taught all kinds of things that, once they reach the ability 
to think for themselves, they discard sk% wrong. (Think of all the racism 
that parents teach to their children. They learn it, but it's still wrong.) 
What good are the stripes you earn if you're wearing them behind bars 
or six feet under? 

Loss Of Patience 

What's up with The Beat? Me, man, same ol' same ol'. 
Today, I wanna write about just everyday life in juvenile 
hall detention center. 

Every day, the staff are disrespecting the kids on the 
unit. Mostly every detainee say, "Forget the staff. They 
playing me." 

But what we fail to realize is that we playing ourselves 
by coming in here all the time. And you know who talk 
the most about they don't like being in here but they are 
seeming to appear in here the most. 

I am fed up with coming back and forth here. I've been 
in here for over twelve months, and I'm really ready to 
get back to my family and my kid. I want to get my life on 
track and live life the right way because I know my mom 
would want me to get my education and be the father I 
should be. 

I do appreciate a couple of these staff that help my 
time go by a little smootJier while I'm in here! I'ma be 
home in a minute. This a minor setback for this major get 
back, ya dig.... 

I love my mother. She's been here by my side the 
whole time. She always heal my pain when I'm feeling 

Have you lost patience with anything around you, or 
even yourself? I've lost patience with all the ignorance all 
around me. Myself is really tired of being around these 
young-minded males who claim they are men, but they 
can't even barely wipe their behinds right. 

-Young Mari, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We're not sure what inspired you to write such a 
thorough and excellent piece, but we've been waiting for you to step 
up to the plate like this for a long time! Even though you've blended 
several topics into one, it still is a fine piece of writing! We won't 
comment on your sk%%e%%viien\ of the "young-minded males" that you're 
incarcerated with (we'd rather you focused on your own situation), but 
if you're truly fed up with being here (with all those kids), then it^ up 
to you to live up to the expectations you and your mother have for you 
and your future. 

Losino Patience 

The topic today is about losing patience. A lot of people 
have lost patience with me. My teacher for example. 
Especially my POs. I think my family ran out of patience 
with me 'cause of my gangbanging and all. But it's nothing 
to be proud of. 

Now I'm trying to be the best man I can be and follow 
the right path, 'cause God love us all. But it's hard not to 
lose patience with some stupid people that be pushing 
my buttons. 

I'm from San Jose, so I grew up knowing not to be 
a punk. But I've been getting a lot better at controlling 
myself when idiots don't know how to act. It's something 
I have to deal with for now 'cause I'm locked up. 

Now, I'm a first-time writer in The Beat Within so I 
hope to see my writing in the next magazine. Oh yeah, 
and what up to all the homeboys and homegirls that write 
in this book. I really enjoy reading The Beat Without, 
'cause the older writers are better at expressing their 
feelings. No offense minors, but I try to be patient with 
your writings, too. 

-Smirk, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: it's nice to start right off with a piece of the week. It's 
good to know that you're trying to change the way you've been living. 
If God loves u% all, it includes "enemies" sk% well sk% friends, so we're glad 
to see you recognize that. As for the "idiots" you have to deal with here, 
it's good practice for the world, which is full of idiots! We don't think 
prisoners write better than those in the hall, but they have a lot more 


jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

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My Grandmother 

This is my grandmother... 

My first love. 

The woman who I would give and do everything for 

The only woman in my life that I'll always adore 

The one who wakes me up every Saturday to do my 

morning chores? 

This is my grandmother... 

The one who pours her love inside my soul 

She always hot, never lukewarm, and never cold 

She's the type of grandma you could never be mad at and 

always cuddle and hold 

She can say those simple words "I love you" and it's a 

guarantee you will be made whole 

Everybody's grandmother is different and has a different 

story to be told 

But this is my grandmother. . . 

Who loves and cherishes me, especially when I was just 

a kid 

You always kept me happy, and there was no limits to 

the things you did 

And even though I hid certain things from you I'll always 

love you grandmother with all my heart 

Our love for each other is so strong that nothing can 

tear us apart 

I'll always love you in every single way 

Don't cry for me grandmother everything is going to be 

You can smile for me later 'cause I can assure you better 


I got locked up in February and now it's May 

But my love for you will never change 

Because you're my grandmother 

-Espo, Alameda 

From The Beat: Of course you don't need u% to tell you what it is that 
you could do to make your grandmother happy - the greatest gift you 
could give her, right? 

A Failure 

I'm a kid, a kid that is nothing but a failure. I don't 
like to fail when I tell people I'ma do what I'ma do, but I 
disappoint the people by not controlling my behavior. 

I hate it when I promise them that I'ma be good and 
I'm not gone start no trouble. But next thing you know I 
get in trouble and I hate to see their disappointment on 
their faces. 

I hate to fail. I never thought that I would fail to do 
something 'cause I'm a competitor and I like to win. But I 
lose when it comes to the behavior competition. 

I'm nothing but a loser in this world and I hate being a 
loser. I hate the look on people's faces when I fail them. 

They say, "Canon, are you gone do good?" 

I say, "Yes, I promise." 

They say, "Are you a man of your word?" 

I say "Yes." 

But I failed. Now I'm nothing but a man with no 

They say, "It's ok. At least you're trying." I nod my 
head, but deep down , I'm not trying. 

-Chris, San Francisco 

From The Beat: This piece took a lot of personal courage to write, Chris, 
and we admire you for that. It proves to us that you are not a loser. 
It^ very obvious that you are the one you're disappointing the most. 
Examine yourself and the reasons you are not able to keep the promises 
you maice about controlling your behavior. As you've already know, 
when you lose control, you are the one who pays the biggest price 
(including the cost to your self-respect). If you're not really trying, then 
it's time to do so. Otherwise, you'll just keep disappointing yourself. 

What More Can I Say 

This is a life of a young man 
Been thuggin' and pistol bustin' since the age of ten 
From li'l deuce deuce to my favorite that four pound 

Been ridin' back seat every time it goes down 

But then thangs go worse, my family lying in a hearse 

As I see thangs different I'm tryin' to bury that curse 

Of the gun tossin' people dying and people crying 

I try to live my life right but still see people flyin' 

One day my m£ima cried cind I told her I wouldn't hurt her 

The next day I'm sittin' in the courtroom fighting 

attempted murder 

As I get the guilty charge I sit and count my days 

This is all a dream, hey what more can I say. 

-Magnificent, Alameda 

From The Beat: Nice piece! We are impressed by the flow, the rhythms 
and beats here, sk% well sk% the powerful, vivid images you u%e to tell this 
story. What inspired this piece? Is it based on your own life, someone 
you know, a dream you had? We know it's a metaphor, but who is "a man 
named Sin?" What caused him to become the way he is? Sadly, this is 
close to the story of too many young people these days — the violence 
and loss of family and community, the almost inevitable feeling of lives 
gone out of control. What's great about your writing, once again, is that 
you take the reins and make art out of pain, and that makes u% hopeful 
that you can step up and make some good choices in the rest of your 
life too. 

My Prayer 

I pray that I will change 

'cause I ain't ready to die 

I want you to help me to stop thinking 

It's ok to slang weed and get high... 

Help me God to get by everyday 

And to stop telling these same old lies 

And even though I'm in jail 

I'm trying harder everyday to stay by your side... 

I'm trying my best God 

but this path I'm on is pretty tough 

I'm having trouble letting my past go 

'Cause my childhood was hella rough. 

And I didn't think that my anger was that big of a deal 

Not trippin' that it would take years for my heart to heal 

I was a young teen and I had so much anger 

that I was ready to kill Ninjas 
can't tell me nothing that's just the way I feel 

-Espo, Alameda 
From The Beat: To get what you pray for you have to learn how to 
give/Does the Bible teach you how to forgive/Tlirn the other cheeic/ 
That don't make you wealc/if you have the gift of a poet^ voice, u%e it 
to speak. 


If hate's in your imagination, then imagine 

That it's spreading 

Across the nation 

Discrimination against religion 



Take a minute to get to know what's behind 

The face 

Don't believe what the hype is telling you 

Find out for yourself and know the truth 

Get to know them from the inside 

Not the out 

So that you can know what they're all about 

When you hate others you're bound to hate 


So instead of kicking down 

Offer help 

-Katie, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Well said Katie. We trust you'll take your own advice. 
And here^ our advice: keep writing. You're good at it. 


jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,// 

The Silent Voice of Patience 


Patience is what everybody needs, 

But nobody is perfect. 

Patience, a voice that is silent. 

Patience is never heard but is seen. 

Patience, its seen by those who have the time and care 

to see it. 

Patience, it's the ability to be calm and take everything 

in, one at a time. 

Patience is not violent, nor is it angry. 

It is a non-violent form of communication. 

Patience, no matter how you see not to have it. 

It is constant and always there. 
Patience, just take a breath and search for it. 

- Stephen, Land Of Enchantment 

From The Beat: This is a great poem that catches the meaning of how 
patience should be perceived. We hope you taice your own advice and 
"taice a breath and search for it" - it will give you peace of mind. We 
iooic forward to more of your writing! 

Tlie Temptation 

Temptation is weird feeling, yet it is so strong it can lead to 
good things or lead you to a very bad result. I say I'm going to 
get out and do right ... 

I make it through one night, but as I lie in bed and think 
about going through my past over again, going through the 
things I once did, I feel something. It's like something is 
knocking on your back door, you pretend not to hear it but 
as the days pass, the knock seems to get louder and louder. 

Temptation to do the things I once did beats harder and 
harder, you get so tired of hearing the knock. You think 
you can just let it slip and take a peek, but like I said ... 
temptation is that hard bang on your door. It can be so strong 
that just that little peek can kick your door down on you! 

-Nicholas, Santa Clara 
From The Beat: This is a great personification of temptation, and it 
worics across so many things. You could be taiicing about sex, drugs, the 
street life, really anything. The real show of good writing is that your 
message is universal and this piece nails it. Good job. 

Lesing Patience 

I know many people have lost patience with me, like my 
family and baby momma. I've lost patience with myself 
because even though it's only my second time here, I 
not only have myself to live for and become someone, I 
also have a beautiful baby girl to care for. I missed her 
first words and her first steps, not to mention her first 
birthday, but I never plan on missing another one. 

I stress time now, because this time away from my 
daughter is something I will never be able to get back, and 
those precious father-daughter moments are what I will 
cherish over the years as I grow and get older. 

I realize the person that I thought I wanted to be with 
and would give my life for ain't the one I would see or will 
see right before I die. It will be my daughter, my family 
and all the good times we shared. 

So, to all the fathers in here, do your time and get out. 
If you don't love yourself enough to stay out and do right, 
then do it for the little person that will want to do exactly 
what you do — your baby! 


-Young B, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We can't think of anything else we can say. You've said it 
all. Some young men think that producing a baby is the same sk% being a 
father, it's nice to read a piece by a young man mature enough to know 
that being a father is a full-time job that requires you to be there in the 
life of your child. Words of love are not enough. Now, get out and love 
yourself and your daughter enough to never come back! 

I Have Rnn Out Of Patience 

Being Perfect 

My mom especially I lost 

For the way I act and 

The things I do 

To me it don't matter 

She did not raise me 

For all those years 

She was supposed to 

She abandoned me 

So I grew up with 

My grandma for twelve years 

Being physically abused and emotionally 

Then I finally came to live with my mom 

It was strange 

Something new 

And we never got along 

We never spent time together 

We grew apart day by day 

And that's when I started 

Raising myself 

Hanging out, smoking, and just doing me 

We started having fights 

Though I never forgave her 

For what she put me through 

Now I am just sitting behind these walls 

Thinking about what I will do 

Without her in my life 

Living in the system 

Till the age of 18 

I wanted to come back home 

Though its too late 

I never want to forgive her 

Or talk to her the way I used to 

That's one thing I will say 

Don't never have kids 

If you don't know how 

To take care of them 

So I just got to 

Do me in a positive way 

Show the world something 

Be successful in my life 

Make my grandpa and God proud 

They are the only 

People helping me 

Through this Journey 

To be a success story 

That no one will ever forget about 

You might even write about 

Watch about 

Or talk about 

Though I will still be 


-Karmeisha, Alameda 

From The Beat: What a powerful poem about your life and struggles. 
We are glad you have your grandfather sticking by you, and we hope 
that you will always remember that you are stn intelligent woman and 
a talented writer! 

I hissed her first words and her 
first steps, mt to meftt/ofi her 
first hirthdaif, hut I never plan 
on missing another one, H 


jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

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La Historia De Mi Familia 

La historia de mi familia en el afio 2005. No recuerdo 
la fecha entre mi madre y mi padre. Ocurrio un gran 
problem cuando de pronto un dia mi madre decidio salir 
de nuestro hogar. Se marcho a otro lugar dejandonos 
solos a mi padre y hermanos. 

Cuando ella nos dejo, mi hermano menor era muy 
pequefio y el otro era un poco menor que yo. Yo tenia 15 

Recuerdo que mi padre callo en una crisis de deprecion. 
Empezo a tomar licor sin importarle a nosotros. A mi 
me daba tristeza ver como mi padre se destruia en las 
cantinas hasta Uegar a punto de querer suicidiarse. Me 
daba mucho coraje y miedo que mi padre llegara a ser 
eso por culpa de mi madre. Pensaba en que iba a ser de 
nosotros sin madre y padre. 

Despues decidi venirme para los Estados Unidos para 
poder ayudar a mis hermanos y a mi padre. 

Gracias a Dios mi padre se puso en tratamiendo y 
pudo dejar de tomar licor. 

Ahora que no tengo mi madre quisiera darles las 
gracias a mi madre por haberme traido a este mundo. 
Quiero tambien felicitar a mi padre por haber salido 
adelante. Darles gracias a Dios por tener con vida a mi 
padre, y hermanos. 

A mi madre, donde sea que este, Feliz Dia de las 

From The Beat: Que bien que apesar de todo, no le guardes rencor a 
tu madre despues de lo que hizo o no hizo. Tambien nos alegra mucho 
que tu padre haya salido de e%sk deprecion y que ahora este curado. 
Ahora, el probiema no son eiios sino la situacion en que te encuentras. 
Recuerda que venistes aqui por un solo proposito el cuai es ayudar a tu 
padre y a tus hermanos. Es tiempo para que empieces a trabajar en tus 
propositos antes que %esk tarde. Nos gusto mucho haber ieido aigo de 
tu vida skun<\ue no haya sido aigo aiegre. Siguenos escribiendo que para 
eso estamos, para escucharte. 

The Story Of My Family 

The story of my family was in 2005. I can't exactly 
remember the date in which my parents separated. A big 
problem occurred when my mother decided to leave the 
house. She left to another place leaving us - my dad, and 
my brothers alone. 

I remember when she left us, my younger brother was 
very young, and other one was a little bit younger than I 
am. I am 15 years old. 

I remember my dad ended up in a depression crisis. 
He started to drink alcohol without caring about us. I 
would be very sad to see how he was destroying his life 
in bars until getting to point of thinking of committing 
suicide. It would get me mad and afraid that my dad would 
end up doing that due to my mother. I would think about 
what life would be about, without a mother and father. 

Later, I decided to come here to the US to help my 
brothers and father. 

Thank God my dad took a treatment and stop drinking 

Now that I don't have my mother, I wish to thank her 
for bringing me to this world. 

I also want to congratulate my dad for finding a way 
out. Thank God for having my dad and brothers alive. 

To my mother, wherever she is: Happy Mother's Day. 

-Bairon, San Francisco 

From The Beat: In spite of what she did or didn't do, it's surprising that 
you don't hold grudges towards your mother. We are also happy that 
your father made it from his depression. Now the problem seems to be 
you. Remember that you came here for a purpose that is to help your 
father and brothers. It^ time for you to start working on your purposes, 
before it's too late. You got people who depend on you. We liked your 
story so much even though it was a sad one. Keep writing to us, we are 
here to listen to you. 

Madre, EscOclianie 

Nacido en tierra fina de las calle de San Jose, donde en 
cada esquina hay pura policia. Dia y dia sufren muchos 
nuestras familias, pensando que sus hijos van a caer 
algiin dia. 

Mi familia es nacida en Michoacan, Mexico. <?,Sabes 
que? Nos vale madre. A mi madrecita le digo como dicen 
los originales, "no le heches la culpa al tiempo ni a las 
piedras del camino, ni te heches la culpa tu por darle al 
mundo un mal hijo. Son las amistades, madre, las que 
acabaron conmigo. 

Unas cuantas paredes de piedray una ventana de asero 
estan formando mi mundo y acompafiando mi encierro. 
<[,D6nde estan todos aquellos amigos de mi dinero? No 
se cuanto afios me hechen, ni los que voy a aguantarles, 
pero no te apures madre esto tenia que pasarme. Esto 
que serva de ejemplo de ahora en adelante. 

Me encuentro en estas calles donde las drogas son 
bien pesadas. Son pura coca y hierba mala. Mis carnales 
del barrio no te tienen miedo a nada. Para nosotros, no 
existen leyes ni gente. Se me enloquece que el mismo 
Diablo le teme. 

Nomas le pido a Dios que a mi gente, me la cuide porque 
en esta vida que vivimos otro dia no es prometido. 

From The Beat: Por lo menos te has dado cuenta de la culpa por la cual tu 
vida se ha desviado a tal extemo. Esa misma pregunta te preguntamos a 
ti: £D6nde estan esos que decian ser tu amigos? Aqui, es cuando uno se 
da cuenta de la realidad. Cualquier que %esk tu sentencia, lo que deberias 
de hacer es buscar la manera como usar este tiempo para mejorar tu 
modo de ser y buscar unsk salida a esta vida que te probablemente te 
Hebe a otro lugar donde no haya luz ni esperanza de salir nuncsk mas. La 
vida no es juego y esperamos que no te tomes mucho tiempo para darte 
cuenta de eso. O Hasta nuncskX 

Mother, Listen To Me 

Born in the refined land of the streets of San Jose, where 
police are in every corner. Day by day, our families suffer 
so much, thinking that their children will fall one day. 

My family was born in Michoacan, Mexico. But you 
know what? We don't care. 

I say this to my mother like originals say, "don't blame 
time, the stones from the road, neither blame yourself for 
giving a bad son to the world." Mother, bad friendships 
are the ones who finished me. 

A few walls made of stones and a steel window is 
forming my world and is my only companion in my lock 
up. Where are those friends with money? I don't know 
how many years I'll get, neither don't know how many 
years I'll be able to handle, but don't worry mother I had 
this coming. I'll take this to help me as a lesson. 

I found myself on the streets where drugs are very 
heavy. There is a lot of coke and bad herbs. For us, there 
are no laws for people. It's crazy that even the devil is 
afraid of us. 

I just ask God to take care of my people because in 
this world where we live, another day is not promised. 

-Lil' Knuckles, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: At least, you have realized what has misguided your life 
to the point where you are. We are going to ask you the same question: 
where are those who are supposed to be your friends? This is when you 
get a taste of what reality really is. Whatever your sentence is, we hope 
you u%e this time to better your behavior and to find a way out from 
this life that will probable take you to another place where there will 
be no light neither hopes to come back. Life is not a joke, and we hope 
it doesn't take you too long to realize this. Or forever! 

/ also want to co^tgrat^/ate mtf 
dad for fiftdiftg a waif out. H 


jpi/ifimm^^wMB/ jy / ' #/// 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,// 


La Vida En La Carcel 

Mi nombre es Oscar. Soy de Nicaragua y el dia de hoy, las 
voy a contar como ha sido mi vida en la carcel. Cuando estaba 
afuera mi vida era normal. Yo decia que la carcel era lo mejor, 
que ahi estaban los mejores y lo malos. Yo queria pertenecer 
a eso, ponerme tatuajes y todas esas cosas. 

Cuando vine por mi primera vez, dije que al fin se me habia 
cumplido mi suefio. Con el tiempo, comienzas te desesperar. 
La comida te aburre, y las reglas que hay son pesadas. Por 
lo menos para mi aqui en esta unidad, nunca me ha gustado 
levantarme temprano y ahora lo estoy haciendo. 

Lo que les quiero decir es que ahora me hace falta todo. 
Aparte de mi libertad hasta la familia. Lo mejor que me ha 
pasado es que en la carcel conoci de Dios y del amor que 
nos tiene. Por eso yo te digo, que tengas fe y no pierdas las 
esperanzas y vera que todo mejorara. 

From The Beat: Claro que tu vida ha cambiado. Aqui no tienes el 
priviiejio que \en\sk% alia afuera. Aqui tienes que seguir reglas te guste 
o no te guste. £Si tanto te quejas de lo que no te gusta en este iugar, 
por que has venido aqui otra vez y otra vez? Eso es lo que justamente 
no entendemos. £Que es lo que los hace venir aqui? £Nos puedes ayudar 
a entender? 

Life In Jail 

My name is Oscar. I am from Nicaragua and today I'm going 
to share how has my life been in jail. When I was out, my 
life was normal. I would think that jail was off the hook, and 
there were only the best and bad ones. I wanted to be part of 
it, get tattoos, and other things. 

When I got here for the first time, I thought that I finally 
made my dream come true. Throughout time, you start to get 
desperate. You get bored of the food, and the rules are hard 
to follow. At least for me, in this unit, it has always been hard 
to get up early and now I am doing it. 

What I want to say is that I miss everything. Besides my 
freedom, I also miss my family. The best thing I've gotten in 
jail is that I learned from God, and the love He has for us. 
That's why I say to have faith and don't lose hope and you 
will see that everything will get better. 

-Oscar, San Francisco 
From The Beat: Of course, your life has changed. In here, you don't 
have the privileges you had outside. In here, you have to follow the 
rules whether you like it or not. If you complain so much about this 
place, why you keep coming back in here again and again? This is what 
exactly we can't understand. What makes you come here? Can you help 
u% understand? 

My Pop's Words 

What's up Beat, well my name is Marcos, and I am from 
Oakland. Well I'm just going to write about an event that 
opened my eyes. 

Well I remember that my dad and my mom told me, "Don't 
get in a gang, don't wear baggy clothes, don't get tattoos," 
and I was like, why? I started kicking it with my homies, and 
I jumped in. 

My dad told me that a gang was just going to bring 
problems, but I didn't listen. I remember he used to sit me 
down and tell me, "One day I'm going to end up going to jail 
because of you," and I was being hard headed and thinking, 
"I'm doing the crime, not him, so why is he going to go to 

Now I'm in the Hall, the judge don't got a strong case 
so he gave 5-0 a search warrant, they asked my pops for his 
papers but since my pops is a 100% Michoacano, they took 
him to Santa Rita, and they are trying to deport him. Now I'm 
in a maximum-security unit thinking about my pop's words, 
and regretting what I did. 

If I wasn't here, none of this would have ever happened. 

-Marcos, Alameda 
From The Beat: You're going to have to be very strong to get through 
this. We're glad your father is getting legal help and that your mother 
has finally been able to talk to him - but in the meantime, you have 
some time to think about his advice. For example, during your time 
locked up, are you thinking about how to disaffiliate, how to get away 
from the lifestyle? You owe it to your family, you owe it to yourself! 

Uoa Caocidfl Para Todos Los Hondoreiios 

Estas preso de nuevo, crees que es un juego, pero tu 
madre sufre y llora. 

Alia adentro sentado piensas en como escapar porque 
en un juicio dio su libertad. Adentro esta un tal mentado 
Juan del barrio. 

Yo les canto, "hey brother, dime tii si crees que es 
justo hacer sufrir a la madre que te trajo a este mundo 
por un dinero prestado que hoy te lo cobra el gobierno?" 

Cuando estas encerrado, y tu madre te ve, se le viene 
un dolor en su alma. Ella trata de soportarlo para que 
tu no la veas Uorar. Al Uegar a su casa, tii la tienes que 
escuchar como grita, se tira al piso a desahogarse el 
dolor. Y llora mucho. 

Le pido a Jesus Cristo que le de fuerzas y valor que 
necesito. Friend, ahora escucha el consejo que te quiero 
brindar. He venido creciendo en un barrio mortal donde 
no trabajaba. Yo me puse a pensar que vendiendo droga 
seria mi final. 

From The Beat: Es verdad a las madres les duele mucho verlos en este 
Iugar. £Has hablado por experiencia o lo has visto lo que dices? Creemos 
que muchos de ustedes son injustos con la personas que mas deben de 
estimar. Deberian de darle otro tipo de apreciacion a %u% madres quienes 
son las personas que mas lo quieren a ustedes. Ya has visto a donde la 
droga te lleba, esperamos que aprendas a lo que lleba hacer las cosas 

A Song To All Hondorans 

You're locked up again, you think this is a game, but your 
mother suffers and cries. 

There, sitting there, you think how to escape because 
in a jury, you left your freedom. Inside, there is a supposed- 
called Juan from the 'hood. 

I sing, "hey brother, tell me, you think it's fair to make 
our mothers suffer, she who brought you to this world, for 
loaned money that now the government is asking for?" 

When you are locked up and your mother come to see 
you, a pain comes to her soul. She tried to hold it, so you 
won't see her cry. When she gets home, you have to listen 
how she screams, and she throw herself to the floor to 
release her pain. She cries so much. 

I ask Jesus Christ to give me the strength and courage 
I need. Friend, now listen to the advice I want to give 
you. I've grown in a mortal 'hood I didn't work. I thought 
selling drugs was going to be my end. 

-Elias, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It^ true that it hurts mothers so much to have you in 
here. Are you talking from experience or have you %een this? We think 
that a lot of you guys are unfair with the person you should care the 
most. You should give them another type of appreciation to the person 
who loves you the most. You've %een where drugs take people to, so \V% 
time to do something about this issue. 


7 nn 

//// // 

Losino Patience 

What's up with The Beat? This that ninja Mike writing 
out of the big dog unit. Fma write up on this topic. 

Man, I'm losing patience with this juvenile shhh. I 
been coming in and out of here since I was 15. I am now 
18. I spent almost my whole teenage years behind these 

I missed a lot of my family's birthdays. It's time for a 
change and that change is now. 

-Mike, San Francisco 

From The Beat: What we understand from this is that you are losing 
your patience with yourself. You're so right, it's time for that change 
you've known for a long time that you had to make. You've got too 
much going for you to throw it away for a life of crime and punishment. 
Don't wait to do what you know you must! 

Missing My Daughter 

Last night I got a letter. It was some pictures of my 
daughter. I been here a month and a half waiting for that 
letter, so I feel better now. But then again, I feel guilty 
'cause my daughter is eight months and I won't get out 
until she's two or a little older. So, I guess my high of 
the week was that I got a letter and my low is how I hate 
thinking about that I won't be there to see her first steps 
or words. 

- A young sad dad, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: it's hard to know that your daughter is growing up 
without knowing you, but instead of getting down about it, send her 
letters that her mother can read to her. Be involved in her life in anyway 
you can and promise yourself that when you get out, you'll make up for 
lost time. 

This Love 


I love you 

I love you not 

I love you for everything you've got 

And what you don't 

To see your face 

To see you smile 

Can I just stay with you for a while 

To hold you close 

To hold you tight 

Promise me you'll stay the night 

Promise me all your heart 

Promise me we'll never part 

Say you love me 

Say you care 

I love you 
To this I swear 

Tell me you love me 

Tell me you care 

One more lie and this I swear 

I'll leave you alone forever and more 

'Cause It's no longer you that I adore 

Every lie you told 

and promise you made 

It was all just fake 

A stupid charade 

-Katie, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Wow, this takes a nasty turn at the end. And it sounds 
familiar, is this a Katie original, or have you 'borrowed', just a bit? The 
Beat wants to know. 

Losiny Patience 

Lis 1 

I ran out of patience when I had picked a fight with this 
one boy. I had went to court and I was supposed to get 
out, but the judge told me I wasn't. When I got back to 
the unit, I just picked a fight with him. 

But when I'm here and I lose my patience, it's going 
to the judge, and you're not going to be getting out when 
you think you are. If I was to lose patience with someone 
else, someone's going to get hurt, me or him. 

Last time I went to school was the last time I lost my 
patience. I really don't express myself when I'm angry , I 
just let it build up. My mom have lost patience with me 
before, but she opened up. 

-Gregory, San Francisco 

From The Beat: What has your mom lost patience with you about? 
Have you also lost patience with yourself? Have you learned any good 
strategies for not losing your temper when you feel like it? If you see 
a good friend about to lose his temper (and suffer the consequences), 
what do you %«y to get him to calm down? 

Power Without VioleoGO 

Most of the time, violence is used in everyday life for 
people to get what they want. Most of the time, it's the key 
to get what you want. The only way to be powerful without 
violence is to talk to whoever you got a problem with. 

Depending on the problem, you can use talking to get 
out of certain situations. For some people, violence is the 
only way to handle situations. Like they really have no 
other choice but to be violent. 

-Richard, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We know what you mean when you write that some 
people "have no other choice but to be violent," but we wonder if those 
people might have avoided being in that situation to begin with. During 
the Civil Rights Movement in the South, teenagers (led by Martin Luther 
King) allowed themselves to get beat without fighting back. Can you 
imagine yourself in that position? Their non-violence produced many 
changes in the laiAf, so it had real poiAfer. 


1 I 


Trial Date 

Man, what's up with The Beat? It's your boy Grimy. Man, 
my trial date is on the corner. Man, it's coming so fast. I 
am waiting to see what they are going to do with me. 

If I lose, I go to YA with a strike on my record. And 
if I win, I go home with the case dropped, not with my 
probation time extended. 

It's hard because I'm doing somebody else time, but 
I chose the crazy life. But it cool, though. The time is 
going to go by quick if I do what I have to do, y7ou feel 
me. But until then I'ma keep it straight up crazy style, 

And for all in the halls, keep it crazy with your heads 
up, until next time. Late. 

-Grimy, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Like we've said to you before. Grimy, you have to make 
some clear choices. Even though we don't agree with you that you 
"chose the crazy life" (we think it was handed to you sk% a child, and that 
you had very little power to choose something else), we think that now 
is the time to be maicing real choices with real consequences. Be careful 
of thinking that you don't have to make a choice, and that you can have 
both your old life and a new one. It just doesn't work that way. If you 
don't give up your old ways, you will find that they will lead you right 
back to the next level of incarceration! Word to the wise. 

A Hero To Me 

A here to me is a man named Bryan. He was shot a 
couple years back, and got back to his feet. His superhero 
power to me is that he showed invincibility. He got shot in 
the had and stomach and shortly thereafter, he broke his 
hip. And he still walkin'. Thos is superhero credentials 
to me! 

-Lil' Skippa, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We agree with you. It is heroic, after such serious injuries, 
not just to learn to walk and talk again, but to u%e your experience to 
reach out to others who are living dangerously to try to make them see 
some possible consequences they may not have considered. 



7 nn 

Juvenile Hall 


You can't see me through these brick walls 

But you could hear my voice in my collect calls 

Fm wearing other people's T-shirts, their pants and 

dr awe's 

The only thing to do in here is to write letters and play 


They call it juvenile hall; I don't know what to call it 

'Cause I'm in here with drug addicts murderers and 


I look at it as day care 

'Cause you got POs, judges and counselors being unfair 

They only give you a little bit of food 

And you got holes in your shoes 

I need to use the sit-down, but I got to ask before I do 

You think you know how it feels 

But you have no clue 

-King Chino, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Well, now that you have more than just a clue about 
how it feels to be locked up (you did a good job of describing it), what 
do you plan to change when you get out of here so you don't have to 
experience it again? We'd like you to experience being a responsible 
free person, and then write a poem about that! 

The White Man Keeps Us Here 



My patience towards the system is on empty. Yeah, we 
tend to mess up time to time, but what do they really 
do to help us? I'm not gonna lie - some of us deserve 
our punishments. But what about the ones that really do 
want to change? They all out-weight all the good we do 
with the mistakes we make. If they took the time to see 
that some of us do good out there, but we just get caught 
in the wrong situation... 

Well, I guess the only way I can solve this problem is 
to stay out of the system. 

-Lil' Ant, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: This piece struck u% as honest, but also full of excuses 
until the end. But we see pieces of change and truth in here. Do good, 
get out and figure out a way to make a serious change in the system for 
the good of others. 

I I 

I I 

Last night I was in the vent talking to the person next to 
me about how the white person controls a lot. 

Let's say when someone wants to move, you have to 
fill the right paperwork in order to proceed. And if you 
don't, then there will be consequences if the process isn't 
followed. The white person will decide. 

Then in here you have to raise your hand to do things. 
Also the school history textbooks are full of white history. 
They don't talk about other races only once in a while. 

And how they waste money on us being in here instead 
of using it for us to go to college. There are lots of us that 
have a smart mind and there are athletes here. But I'm 
tired of this stuff. I'm going to make a change. 

I'm doing a little thinking about what's going to 
happen. It's either going to Minnesota or a year in county. 
I got court tomorrow, and so far, it's looking like I'm going 
to MN, but the DA might not approve it. So now, I just tot 
to wait. I I 

-Wiggims, San Francisco I I 

From The Beat: We certainly agree with you that racism has kept 
minorities from achieving all they could achieve. But, at the same time, 
you have to see that you have a lot of power in your own life, whatever 
your race. Remember, there is a black man who might well be our next 
President, a black woman Secretary of State, a black Supreme Court 
Justice and far too many black athletes, actors, businesspeople, doctors, . 
lawyers and everything else to be able to blame everything on racism. I 
What's in Minnesota? What would you like to happen? I 

Kitsune's Fictional Story, Part One 

It was before sunrise when Jekan woke up. He got out 
of bed and stretched. Today was the day that the youth 
enlisted into Kitsunian Academy of Tactical Combat 
(KATC), which taught fighting techniques more advanced 
than that of the planets most elite military forces. The 
KATC was recruiting young healthy adolescents between 
the ages of 12 and 18 to train for classified causes. 

Excited Jekan had volunteered at the age of 12 hoping 
to be accepted now after a long 3 V2 years he received a 
phone call at precisely 9:00 the previous night directing 
him to arrive at the KATC no later than sunrise. 

Alone, Jekan donned his brand new camoufiage suit 
and black combat boots which were supplied by the 

After getting ready the boy stepped out of his warm 
cozy house and into the chill of the morning air. There 
was a heavy fog hanging all around him making it hard 
to see. It was so cold that when he exhaled a warm misty 
vapor hovered briefly in the air. There was a fresh layer of 
snow on the ground from last night's storm, which meant 
the river would was most likely be frozen and would be 
easy to cross. 

Jekan glanced at his watch, which read 5:21am. 
Sunrise was at 6:02 am he had to run harder and faster 
than he ever ran before, but making it to the KATC was 
going to be difflcult to accomplish.... To be continued. 

-Kitune, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Sounds like you started writing a pretty interesting 
story. You structured it well you just need to keep writing! So keep 
writing and don't leave us readers hanging! 




To me, violence is a necessity of life. Words are powerful, 
but if there are no violence, then for example, the United 
States would not be what it is today. They used violence, 
but also they used words, with words leading to violence, 
pertaining to power. That right there is power, because it 
showed that you could use peace talks, but if that doesn't 
work, use your military, meaning violence. 

Violence make people fear you. That right there is a 
form of power. 

-V, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We agree that violence is a form of power, but the 
question is, can you imagine power without violence? When a beautiful 
woman walks in the room, does she need violence to have power over 
you? Was Martin Luther King powerless because he refused to resort 
to violence? Of course, you're right that the U.S. wouldn't be what it 
is today but for violence, and a lot of it. But that only leads us to ask: 
where is the U.S. today? 

1 III I I I I I I I I I I I I 


God knows how hard it is not to lose your patience. Fm 
the kind of person that can only take so much, and then 
after I'm fed up, I blow up. 

I took anger management to think that it was going to 
help, but I guess it only helped to a certain extent. It takes 
me to turn my back on ignorance for me to really not lose 
my patience. 

But now I've become a better person. People always 
mistake my kindness for weakness, but it is what it is. 
Anybody want it, they can get the business. But schedule 
that night appointment, 'cause messin' over my time is 
your bad for me losing patience. 

-Jelly, San Francisco 

From The Beat: How did anger management help you hold your temper? 
What strategies have you developed that let you walk away from 
situations where you might have confronted them at an earlier age? 
What makes you a better person now than before? Do you find yourself 
getting more or less patient as you get older? 



7 nn 

//// // 

Asian Ly 

There was once was an Asian guy. It seemed he had a 
good life to me. He had a pretty lady. I seen her myself. 
His mom and dad were very supportive. He went to school 
and was dong good. 

I think I knew him personally myself. He was hella 
cool to joke around with. He's the funniest Asian I ever 
knew. He was good looking with the haircut I gave him in 
juvie. But like I said, he had a pretty Asian girl. He was in 
love you can say. 

One messed up decision threw his whole life away. 
Now he's facing 25 to life. The DA has a good clean case. 
Stuck on thinking of his lady, he might not see her until 
he and she are 43. 

He leaves to county tomorrow 'cause he turns 18. I 
hope one day wherever he's at I see him. Damn, that fool 
gonna be gone and missed. 

All that are doing hard time, stay strong in the mind. 
Well, I'ma cut this right here. Late. 

-Cisco, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: It^ obvious that Ly has made sk% strong stn impression on 
those iociced up with him sk% he has on u%. He's facing serious time, but 
that^ not the same sk% saying he^ thrown his life away. Of course, we 
wish he wasn't going off to prison, too, but we icnow too many people 
who have taicen that path and done extraordinary things to thinic of 
it si% the end of the line. There is life during and after prison, and we 

I fully expect Ly to be engaged in it. Thank you for this well-deserved 

A Generous Super Hero 

If I was a super hero I would build more schools and 
donate money to the school for funds and field trips. I 
would also build up more homeless shelters for the 
homeless 'cause it hurt me to my heart to see people on 
the streets. 

I would love to make drugs disappear 'cause that shhh 
done ruined a lot of my loved ones in a lot of ways. I would 
be the best hero I could possibly be. 

-Mb, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Well, we're grateful that you let u% publish this excellent 
piece in The Beat! If you did the things you write about here, you would 
definitely be a super hero. Not even the politicians who are elected to 
do these things seem able to pull them off. 


Good News, Bad News 

Wha's up with The Beat, though? Man, still here still 
stressing, but you know, it's coo'. Did three weeks. I 
really don't know how much longer I might be in here, 
but hopefully when I go back to court on the 19th of May 
on Monday, I hope the judge will be coo' and give me a 
last chance. 

I've been doing good. But anyways, not long ago I 
talked to my moms. That definitely made my day because 
she came and seen me. When we was talking, she told 
me I might go home depending on the judge if she in a 
good mood. I mean since they drop my count or go to 
Walden for a couple months and knock that out and be off 

Also, if I get sentenced to Walden, I'm going. But then 
it all depends if I stay here a little longer. But I ain't tryna 
stay here for a lil'-ass violation. Most likely I pray to God 
every day and doing the good things and tell Him when I 
get out of here I will be a changed man. 

Well Beat, I ran out of ideas. I guess I'll see you some 
time soon on the outs. Ha ha. 

-M&M, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We would love to see you on the outs — especially if you 
stay away from those "lil-ass violations" that strip you of your freedomi 
When you tell God that you plan to be "a changed man, 
changes you're anticipating making? 

Food Please 


I want food. I'm losing my mind. 

Chicken wings from Wing Stop, 

chicken noodle soup - clam chowder. . . Real food is on 

my mind. 

I am so tired of baked food. 

I want some Everret And Jones barbequed ribs, chicken 

links, baked beans, potato salad. Gimmie some starch! 

Right about now I'd even settle for a pack of Maunchan 

Top Ramen/ Oodles of Noodles. Sardines, oysters, 

shrimp, crab, lobster I'm going crazy over food... 

My baby's kickin' my stomach. 

Gimmie some food, I wanna cry. 

I haven't got my Snack Bag since I've been here. 

They're starving me. Not literally, but please can I have 

some food. Please! 

-Prego-Diamond Girl, Alameda 

From The Beat: Thanks for sharing all the food you're jonesing for. We're 
sure Beat readers are getting hungry sk% they read your piece.. .Another 
thing to look forward about getting out of jail eating healthy and being 
there for your baby! 

The Hard Knock Life 

' what are the 


The hard knock life is not just selling drugs 

Walking round with guns 

The hard knock life is in and out of jail always on the 


The hard knock life 

Is being a young teen and getting shot at more then 

twenty times 

The hard knock life is living a life of crime 

This for my people on the block selling them dimes 

The hard knock life 

Is thinking you ain't gone live long 

The hard knock life 

Is in yo' cell thinking bout going home 

The hard knock life 

Is livin' like an o.g. 

The hard knock life 

Is for my people bustin' them forty's 

The hard knock life 

Is knowing you selling "d" to yo' potna's mama 

The hard knock life 

Is living with hella drama 

The hard knock life 

Is living the way I'm hustlin' cooking crack up in the 


The hard knock life 

Is seeing yo' ninja die in front of ya' 

But you ain't got no banger so you couldn't even try to 

bust at them 

The hard knock life 

Is tryna eat on yo' block 

Mobbing with the forty holding thrity-two shots 

The hard knock life 

Is when them ninjas come through tryin' to bust so you 

poppin' back just to stay a live bra 

This for my ninjas in them cells 

Throw yo' hands up high if you know how it feels 

The hard knock life. 

-Lir Al, Alameda 

From The Beat: The hard knock life is waking up everyday at 6 in the 
morning to go to work five days a week so you can pay the rent. The 
hard knock life is when you have to pay the PG&E bill so you can have 
electricity so you can watch T.V., have the lights working, and cook 
your food. And the hard knock life is when you need to ivork tiwo 
jobs just to pay the bills. Keep in mind JUST TO PAY THE BILLS. No 
money for no Jordans, Grills, Scraper, or nothing! The Hard knock life is 
living in a 3rd world country and not having anything to eat! The Hard 
knock life is trying to live your life while people are dropping bombs 
everywhere (Iraq). That's a hard knock life young homie. 



7 nn 

//// // 

big I 

Losino Patience 

Wha's up, Beat? This yo' mans again. Patience is a 
factor in life. When you are patient, you are willing to 
sacrifice time by making the best of it without getting 
stressed out. 

Fm going to a group home and Fma knock it out. 
Fma just think to myself that this group home is going to 
benefit me. FU be back out, and when I am, the same stuff 
gonna be there when I left. 

But yeah. Beat, advice for y'all out there, don't lose 
patience. You might get into something you gonna 

-Ni-Nasty, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We hope the group home you're going to does benefit 
you. But even if it doesn't, you can always tell yourself that running 
cannot benefit you! 


What's up with The Beat? This ya boy F.B. up in here, 
waitin' to go to this grouper. I got a rap for y'all: 

Outside all night hustlin' in the streets 

Moms up stressed out, don't want to lose me to beef 

I need some money in my pockets 

So I get off rocks 

Bad nerves don't want to get grabbed by cops 

Stop going to school like it wasn't for me 

Got taken down for a cannon, sent me to unit three 

Got yo' bra on the run smokin' weed and poppin' 

Runnin' from the rollers and you know I ain't stoppin' 

Sometimes I think that Fm livin' in hell 

Got caught doin' dumb shhh, now Fm up in a cell 

Lookin' at all of the pictures of the people Fm missin' 

I wish I would've did it now, sat down and listened 

-F.B., San Francisco 

From The Beat: You say you're running from the rollers and you aren't 
stopping, but that doesn't exactly express the reality of your situation... 
It's clear that you didn't run fast enough! And it's even clearer that, 
sooner or later, they'll always outrun you. So, why not stop running 
altogether. Stop doing the things you have to run from, and your 
lAforries ivill be behind you. 

Heila IHad At Myself 

Man, what's good Beat? Well, yup, Fm back. The next 
day after just folding a few of 13.17 Beats and typing, I am 
back. I bet you're shocked because of the piece I wrote in 
13.17. 1 even made piece of the week. 

Damn! Fm hella mad. I took ten steps forward and five 
stops back. I was being real stupid. Now I really regret 
catchin' a new case because my PO don't know what he 
wanna do with me. Part of him says Colorado, but part 
of him wants to put me back at the place I was at. The 
director of the place wants me back and is holding my 

I just hope he sends me back where I was and continue 
doing the positive things I was doing, like working for The 

Well, Fm out. Please pray for me. Oh, and tell Victor, 
Perry, Pauline, M. Kroll and all the other staff Fll see y'all 
when I get out. 

-Joann, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We won't tell you that we aren't disappointed, because 
we are. You must be even more disappointed at yourself for falling back 
into old habits that didn't serve you very well in the past, and won't 
serve you well in the present. But, Joann, we have faith in you. We 
know what you're capable of doing, which is about anything you set 
your mind to. So, set your mind to never again doing the things that 
you KNOW lead to lock-up, and start doing those things that will lead 
to the life you want and deserve. Your desk at The Beat is waiting for 

J L 

Power Without Vioieoce 


What up with The Beat? This that ninja Mike writing out 
of the big dawg unit. It's a power that does not involve 
violence but can get you in a lot of trouble. The power is 

Love can get you into a lot of shhh. Love can make you 
do crazy things. The question is, is it love, or is it lust. 
Lust can make you do things in the moment of feeling. 
Love can make it and it can break you. Love is a very 
powerful drug. 

-Mike, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Have you done foolish things in the name of love? 
Which do you think has more poiwer over skn individual, lust or love? 
Is it the same for men and for ivomen, or are men more driven by lust 
and women by love? What would turn this into a piece of the week are 
examples from your own experience that help to explain the important 
things you're saying. 

int I 

Losiflo Patieoce \ 

When a ninja been down for so long, a ninja start losing 
patience. They be tryna push a ninja court date hella 
far back, and a ninja be lightweight going crazy in this 
joint, ready to just go off on anybody. But that's when yo' 
patience starts to kick in. You just gotta calm down and 
stand your ground. 

Patience is a bastard, boy. You ain't heard. To get what 
you want, you gotta have patience especially with some 
of these counselors that don't care and just wanna send 
kids in they room over some little shhh. You gotta be 
patient and don't let that lil' shhh get to you. 

Ey, yo, I'm up outta here. All that's doing time, keep 
yo' head up and have patience. 

I -Hard, San Francisco 

From The Beat: What do you find to be the hardest thing in your life 
to be patient about? What's the worst thing that's happened to you 
because of losing your patience? What^ the best thing that's happened 
to you because you wrere patient? 

Fake People 

People say they're down 

They say they don't play around 

That they're ready for the pinta-bound 

But it's the other way around 

They ain't down to play 

All they do is pray 

But what I do is for pride 

So tell me who's down to ride 

I'm a straight up "G" 

So ask me what I see 

Fake people try to be like me 

Trying to earn respect and power 

But I'm on top of the tower 

Playing this game 

In a life with no shame 

You see my life ain't the same 

Getting locked up over and over 

As my heart gets colder and colder 

I'm getting older 

But I'm one of a kind 

This my rhyme 
'Til the next time. Beat 

-Spooky, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We're impressed with your rhyme skills, but not with the 
message. Even though you write that you're "one of a kind," we've read 
this same sort of piece many, many times and it always makes u% scratch 
our heads. Here you are — locked up, taking orders from strangers, 
eating what someone else tells you to eat, wearing some other boy^ 
drawe's, enjoying no female company — and you still think you've got 
power and that you're on top... Like we said, every time we read this, 
we scratch our heads... 




7 nn 

//// // 

Ride It Out 


It's every man for himself 'cause the streets and ninjas 

are dirty 
So many homies done passed so I'm pouring out half my 


Ninjas say they know me, and down fo' me 

That's not a question homie, more like real talk 

If you running 'cause it's chasing you, don't be a sucka 

and walk 

5150 insane thoughts through my brain 

Numb it up like I took a big sniff of powder cocaine 

I'm searching in the darkness fo' shhh I have to find 

I got revenge in my mind, turn back the hands of time 

'cause I can't leave this shhh behind 

Real ninjas ain't gotta prove nothing, when they get 

tested they respond not react 
Yo' enemies stab you in the back, and yo' own patnas 

stab you in the back 

And just like that, smoke and drank are burning my 


I don't consider myself sick, more like cut throat 

I inhale purp to help me clear up, I sip on drank to help 

me cheer up 

Ya suckas mean muggin' when ya know ya feared up 

I'm hearing voices in my dome that won't leave me 

alone, and ask how much longer 

I'ma be on this earth 'cause smily faces make me 


My good and bad side are fighting like two pits 

And I ain't ready to ditch, snitch or go out with a twitch 

So, until the day I eave, I'ma have my finga on the trigga 

like a true chola 

Trusting no one and ride it sola 

-Giggles, San Francisco 

From The Beat: All we can do. Giggles, is hope that you begin to see life 
in a new way before you throw it all away. Are you really hearing voices 
in your head? If so, that's a sign you should pay attention to, something 
in you trying to talk to you, hoping you'll listen. (But if they are voices 
you can't control, or frighten you, you should talic to someone about 
that, too.) You're worth so much more than just another body in another 
jail... so much more than any cause that you've been handed. What% a 
"real" ninja to you? Are the "real" ones locked up and the "fake" ones 
free? What do you want out of life. Giggles? Is the path you've chosen 
leading you there? 

I I 1 

The Deadliest Weapon 

To a bystander, 

Being outside after dark 

Them predators want yo' blood like a hammerhead shark 

People that snitch, this real talk 
Killers so drugged up want to see their victims on the 

sidewalk Conscience playing tricks on the mind 

Murderers kill people and their corpses hard to find 

Not found underground 

The wicked never sleeps 

At night is when them murderers creep. 

People can't live in peace it's always violence 

Some people can't live in silence 

The rebels be off of cocaine that's the devil 

His evildoing to possess and have people exorcism 


The devil manipulated so many people to go on one 

Murderers don't realize what was done 

Until they realized they took somebody's son 

The deadliest weapon in the world is a gun 

-Justin, Alameda 

From The Beat: You paint a picture of a hell on earth/Where a person is 
doomed from the day of his birth/But you're the one with the sharpest 
eyes/Is there a way to make a truth from all these lies/End the shootings 
and the violence/Show the voice of the youth can't be silenced? 

1 I 


Losing Patience 


I have no patience as far as I'm concerned. You could say 
the slightest thing to me and I'll blow. Being the person 
I am and living the life I live, you wouldn't have patience 
either. I been through hell and back before I was even 

I'm losing patience because I'm tired of my friends 
dying. I've lost seven people within the last five years. 

But who took me back the most was T-Weez. I had 
just seen him Saturday a couple of days before he died. I 
seen him, and he was like, "What's up?" I'm like, "What's 
up, man?" I'm like, "Where you been? I ain't seen you in 
a minute." 

He was like, "Man, ninjas trippin'. Ninjas is dyin' for 
no reason." I was like, "Man, for real." He was like, "Be 
safe." I'm like, "Man, you too." 

I hugged him. I'm like, "I love you bra. Keep your head 

With the being said, we went our separate ways. Only 
if I knew that would be the last time I seen him I would 
have never let go when we hugged. I miss my ninja man 
for real. And I'm tired and fed up with my people dyin' 
from gun violence. 


From The Beat: We wish more young people would lose patience with the 
gun violence that seems never to end. We're very sorry about T-Weez and 
all the other young people who have paid the highest price in a "war" 
with no exit strategy. What are you doing to try to end this violence so 
that you won't have to mourn any more fallen friends? 

Losing Patience 

Recently I've been trying to be patient just being here in 
juvenile hall. I'm trying to keep my mind focused on the 
fact that I am going to see my family soon. 

Growing up I have been impatient, always rushing 
into everything. 

Lately I have had a lot of time to myself, sitting in 
my jail cell just waiting for that day to come when I'll be 
reunited with my loved ones. Day by day, waking up go 
to school, staying on schedule here, it drives me crazy. 
A short 5 minutes to shower, the nasty food, this is a 
lifestyle I have to get used to. This time it's starting to 
take a hold of me. Part of me just wants to sleep, but I 
continue to push myself to do better. 

Sometimes all that room time has me going crazy. I'm 
on the verge of losing my mind. I'm doing my best to be 
patient but at times I find it difficult. Until my release, I'm 
gonna keep my head up and keep going. 

-Laura, Alameda 

From The Beat: You say you have to get used to this life, but don't get 
too used to it! This is temporary, and if you keep your cool, you never 
have to come back. We are encouraged to hear that you are trying to 
push yourself to do good — keep it up! 

Quitting Tiie Bad Life 

What I want people to know is that the things I say is 
true. I want people to listen about my life. 

I quit all this bad stuff — quit smoking weed, go to 
school and learn. Learn about good things like how to do 
science and to go to school every day. I quit wasting my 
time in drugs. I rather waste my time in school and do 
homework, be with my family, get my mom back and be 
with my mom. 

-Geordi, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Are these changes that you've already made, or things 
you plan to change? If you follow through on these promises, we think 
you'll find that going to school is never a waste of your time. Sometimes 
it^ boring, but it opens doors for you and promises a much better future. 
We hope you do just what you say you're going to do. 


7 nn 

//// // 

They Don't Know What It's Like 

Sitting in this jail 

From a cell 

Having your mama kiss you 

County and staff are fake and all they do is dis you 

Withhold mail and lock you up 

Because they don't know what it's like 

All they do is talk smack to you on the buzzer 

Through their mike 

Asking why you put up a fight 

I just try to relax sometimes and write 

Trying to release anger 'cause I feel I wanna scream out 

Beam out 'cause they taking hella long to send me to camp 

At first I was amped now I'm just cramped 

I wake up in the middle of the night and 

Can't even turn on a lamp 

It's just messing with me everyday is the same 

But maybe it's a lesson 'cause jail's making me insane. 

-Kyle, Alameda 

From The Beat: Now that you're in camp, it's better because you have 
more freedom. On the other hand there^ also more drama, and on HV%, 
more temptation. Now that you can compare them both, which is easier 

to deal with? 

Power Witboit Viileice 


I do believe that there is power without violence. You 
just have to humble yourself and don't let things tick you 
off like name calling. Just have the power of knowledge 
and let your words carry the power. 

-A humbled man, Alameda 

From The Beat: We can tell you have a lot of powerful thoughts behind 
this writing. Being humble does have a lot to do with anti violence - 
in fact, it seems close to impossible to find a humble person who u%e% 
violence to get more power. Your words in this piece are powerful in 
itself. We only wish you had written more. 

Lisiig Patieice 


Man, for the past year, my dad and I have been having 
money troubles. I was being calm about the whole 
situation... until just recently when I decided to rob 

And look where I'm at now... this situation is also 
one that I've been patient about for the past month and 
11 days... I've been patient, but I'm losing it! I feel like 
I'm going crazy up in here! Not saying I'm going to hurt 
anyone, but I just hate this. Trapped in a room all day, 
bored out of my mind, I can't do anything but read and do 
push-ups and sit-ups. 

Getting letters from my girlfriend and my girl-potnas, 
they're all talking about how they miss me and want me 
to come back and do my "thang," talking about how weird 
it is when I'm not there. 

I'm sitting in my room thinking to myself, "What are 
you doing here, D? You've got your whole life ahead of you 
and you're wasting it making stupid decisions, sitting in 
juvenile hall!" I'm really not a person who can take jail 
whether it's one more month or seven more! It makes 
no difference to me because I still can't play football 
or do anything I want! They tell me when to eat, sleep, 
take a shower, and everything else! Sitting in here I feel 
controlled... but hey, I guess this is the price you pay for 
robbing, taking what ain't mine... This whole situation is 
out of my control, all I can do is maintain my behavior in 
the unit and hope for he best on my court date. 

-D, Alameda 

From The Beat: To u% you don't sound out of control mentally at all - 
you sound like you are still keeping your mental freedom, your mental 
strength, and we're glad you hate it in here, it means you'll make sure 
you never come back! 

Thoughts of a G 


Sometimes I wish I could drain my thoughts 

Play the hand I'm dealt cause I got what I got 

I love my son but my actions differ 

Tryna get richer 

I'm the mind behind the trigger 

Sipping' on this liquor 

In here tryin' to picture 

My baby mama cheatin' 

Every single weekend 

The blood that I'm leakin' 

Females that I'm freakin' 

The scene is what I'm peepin'/ 

The goals is what I'm dreamin' 

Time keeps rollin' suns keeps beamin' 

I could swear the judge is on thetas 

He better put me on the EM 

You don't want it bra 

Sippin' on that hypnotic bra 

Tryin' to be glamorous 

Tryin' to roll play for these cameras 

Noey be the name 

Hustlin' be the game 

Pocket full of change 

With my mind up in a daze 

Walkin' to the grave 

Son's callin' my name 

We one and the same 

On a one way train 

Tryin' to get paid 

Playin' my cards 

Gotta hustle hard 

Hardy har har 

I love you baby boy're the center of my heart 

-Lir Noey, Alameda 

From The Beat: Son to Father/Father to Son/He looks for a model/And 
you are the one/To teach him how to be man/To give him your heart/ 
Lend him your hand/A life without crime might seem strange/But you 
his teacher, his king, it^ time to change! 




On the verge of losing my mind 

With tears like one of a kind 

Walking toward another corrupted system 

Having a mind with infinite wisdom 

All the violence is just an eternal stay 

But all the fury dies within a day 

In a place with mysterious people 

But all the fear flew in a disintegrated circle 

Now I'm facing a new lifestyle where bars and steel Are 

the only thing I feel 
Betrayal is the word commonly found where criminals 


Underneath the dirt 

Every move I make, trembles with a shake 

'Cause every time I wake, it's just another fake 

It may be a friend who was put on a mission 

All the transition makes it difficult for tension 

So all this thought may be a confusion 

But to the thought of mind it's just a praying confession 

-Ly, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: We know how frightening the unknown can seem, but 
we also know that anticipation is often more scary than the reality 
you will confront. Betrayal is only one word "found where criminals 
lurk." It's also possible to find profound friendships, real knowledge and 
understanding. We're not predicting you will find these things, but only 
urging you to keep skn open mind, to bring a positive attitude to every 
new experience. Of course there will be negatives, but there will also be 
positives. Be open to them. 




7 nn 

//// // 

To My Little Sister 

I miss everything about my little sister 

Even down to her long hair. 

And I know you remember 

Those times we would go as a family to the Alameda 

County fair. 

But I got caught slippin' 

And now I'm in Alameda County Juvenile Hall 

In a tiny ass room with a steel door and four walls 

And I miss those times 

Where me and you would save up money and go to 

Southland Mall. 

I can't wait to see you Dazia, I hope you are getting tall 

I hope you're growing up and living up to your name 

I miss spending time with you at the park 

And going to baseball games. 

I'm sorry for bringing hurt and pain 

And yeah I'm the one to blame 

I got locked up in February and now it's May 

But hey you know what they say 

If you do the crime you got to do the time.... 

But it's going to be ok I'm doing just fine. 

I can't wait to take you to the park 

And see the beautiful sunshine... 

But until then I'll be in Juvenile Hall 

Writing for The Beat and making these rhymes 

-Espo, Alameda 

From The Beat: Locked up in Feb and now it's June, we hope you get 
bade to your sister soon/Till then you'll be whistling a jailhouse tune/it's 
the county's ceiling but the free world's moon. 


/ was horn in a violent na- 
tMre and it will never go 

Looking At My Tan Walls 

I've run out of patience sitting in my cell looking at my 

tan walls. 

I also lose patience with the judge because I'm ready to 

go home. 

I think this being my first time 

being here has showed me that I need to watch what I 

say and do. 
If I lose patience with somebody else I need to just talk 

to them 
because if I do anything else I will end up back in here 

for the second time and that's not what I want. 

When I lose patience with myself I just sit and think or 

am my best friend. 

In my past I always lost my patience with my mom 

but now I learned how to deal with it. 
Most of the time when I lose my patience I just walk 

away or cry. 

When I'm in my cell I lose my patience and just cry 

myself to sleep. 

I think my mom has lost her patience with me 

because I'm not always doing what I should be. 

-Alexandria, Alameda 

From The Beat: Alexandria, we are glad to hear that you are learning 
how to be more patient, and deal with frustration through talking 
instead of fighting. When you get out, this may be a good time to share 
your thoughts with your mom, and show her that you are ready to stay 
calm and focused. And also let her know that you understand what 
you've put her through. 

I I 


Power Wlthoot Violence 


I can't be powerful without violence. Violence comes 
everyday when you are least expecting it. You could be 
sitting down and someone could come up to you and 
try to rob you. That's where violence come in at. Or, 
you could be different gang members, someone could 
be shooting at you and you pull out your gun and start 
shooting at them. 

Violence happens everyday, it is never going to stop 
unless 5-0 put all the factors and the kids in jail, because 
that is really who is robbing and killing people. 

I think people do violent things to protect themselves 
and get their name known. I don't think there will ever 
be a time where someone doesn't use violence. It is 
impossible because we were born to sin so we were born 
with violence. 

To me, I don't have a personal power. I was born in a 
violent nature and it will never go away. When someone 
disrespects me I would normally go off, but I have learned 
to let things go, especially in Juvenile Hall. But when I 
see them on the outs it's a different story. They think 
they got over, but wait and see! 

-Lir Zea, Alameda 

From The Beat: We understand that some times that^ how people are 
raised. Violence is not something normal. Violence is caused by you and 
you only. You can't resolve everything with violence, and if you really 
think about it violence doesn't resolve anything. We understand that at 
times you need to defend yourself from perpetrators, but just because 
that may be the case doesn't mean that you can resort to violence with 
everything else. 


He go ya feel me? 

He got them clean ass powers. 

He be doing his thang too, getting all the lil' lady super 


Cat woman, that one girl with the white hair. 

I think he was messing with Lois Lane too. 

Bra got them spider webs shooting out his wrists. 

And he could climb walls. 

That's sick on the real, and he undercover wit' his 


I respect his secrecy. 

But if I was Spider Man, I'd be like the shhh. 

Hella web comin out my wrist. 

Man that'll go! Spider-Nam! 

-Mackin'Nam, Alameda 

From The Beat: Your writing in this piece is so alive, it was great to read. 
You use such good specific details so we get such a great picture, and we 
feel both a sense of Spider Man and why you admire him. Good work! 

Losino Patience 

I tell you little ones not to come to jail. 'Cause if you 
come to jail you have to have a lot of patience. 'Cause a lot 
of people in here have no patience. You to have patience 
to do one thing at a time. Like the food is nasty. You have 
to wait till some good food comes and the staff will have 
no patience with you. And you will get mad and you will 
cuss the staff out. 

Believe me I done it before. And after you cuss them 
out, staff will put you in your room, and you really will 
have no patience. Believe me. I've done it before. So I tell 
y'all don't come to jail. 

-Lir J-tuda, Alameda 

From The Beat: That's great that you're giving advice to all the younger 
folks that are probably lookin' up to you, plus you read it aloud too! 
Nice job! Now, how do you think you can follow some of that advice 
that you're giving out? You can't be telling people don't come to jail but 
you steadily coming to jail yourself. How do you expect them to listen 
to you? 



7 nn 

//// // 

Finally Gettlno Out 

Hey everybody out there. This is your boy Cholo coining 
from the max unit. Well, I ain't feeling these topics this 
week, so I'm just gonna write about something else. 

Well, I've been locked up since October, '07, and I'm 
finally getting out next month! In a way, I want to get out, 
but then I don't. The reason why I don't want to get out 
is because I'm already used to being locked up. And I'm 
already 18 years old. So, when I get out, I'm gonna have to 
find a job and pay rent and things like that. And I don't 
think I'm ready for that yet. 

But then, I do want to get out because I haven't been 
with a girl for nine months. So I'm gonna go crazy when I 
get out... if you know what I mean. And I can't also wait to 
be on the block again. That's what I miss the most more 
then anything. 

But for sure when I get out my main goal is to get a 
girl pregnant. I really want a kid. Well, Beat that's it for 
now. So I'm out with mas firme love to all. 

-Cholo, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: The thing we like the most about this piece is that you 
are mature enough to recognize that freedom is not paradise, and that 
it carries many difficult responsibilities wit it. The fact that it worries 
you tells u% that you are beginning to think like skn adult. But, at the 
same time, you are not sin adult, and therefore, we hope you re-think 
your desire to make a child. Fatherhood is much more than just bringing 
a child into the world, it is a full-time job that requires you to be there. 
It means giving up the block and the things that give the system power 
over your life. The fact that you are here tells u% that you should wait 
to become a father until you are truly ready. Anything else is not fair 
to your child-to-be. 



I woke up in a puddle of blood, looking like I'm finished 
'cause blood's jumping out of my mouth like Lil' Tay. I'm 


Lil' James holler, "Call the people, my ninja hit!" 

My eyes roll back, I hear Reg say, ahh shhh. 

That's when I started havin' fiashbacks 'bout my ways. 

Never though I'd see an early grave. 

I hit the hospital and they fill me up with I-V. 

Can't take the pain, all I'm thinking is won't you die 


I hear my momma on the elevator going crazy. 

All I remember is "not my baby, not my baby!" 

I'm trying to fight but I'm burning from this rusty gat. 

And all I'm thinking 'bout is this I-V and I holler right 


A tear-drop, 

I hear the doctor holler surgery. 

My last chance to make it through this murder plea. 

Then I heard fiat line and I woke up sweating. 

I tried to tell my ninja but he was resting' 

I had a dream that I was at the fair with my chick. 

And he was with his click at the fair with his stick. 

He had on all black and his hair was in twists. 

Watching his every step 

'Cause I know this ninja will leave me stankin'. 

I know this ninja will, and he did. 

Caught me slipping by the ferris wheel 

And let me have it right there. 

My old lady and my son right there. 

He didn't care, he just kept dumping 

...but my heart pumping. 

-Lir Jamoni, Alameda 

From The Beat: This waking nightmare felt all too real. You made us 
feel your pain for real. Revenge is too much on your mind, time to fast 
forward, don't rewind, you got your second chance now take it, think 
about the future so you can make it! 

Mon Cherie 


Ton Souris 

Ton Souris, c'est la joie de ma vie, 

C'est ce que je pense jour apres jour, 

D'et le moment que tu ma dis bonjour, 

Je voudrais ton amour, 

Et je I'avais 

Tu tiens mon Coeur 

Jus'qua la jour que je meure. 

From The Beat: C'est un poeme agreable d'amour et il est bon de voir un 
comme cela dans le francais. Continuez votre ecriture et permettez-nous 
d'entendre plus de vos mots romantiques. 


The Love of my life 

Your smile. 

Your smile, is the joy of my life 

It's what I think of day after day 

From the moment you said hello, 

I wanted your love 

And I had it. 

You have my heart 

Till the day I die 

- Sjg, Land Of Enchantment 

From the Beat: This is a nice poem of love, and it is good to see one 
like this in French. Continue your writing and let u% hear more of your 
romantic words. 

My Mifld 


My mind's similar to a sponge, soaking up game. 

It's a mystery what I turned out to be. 

The system's trying to play me like clay. 

They say we terrorized the block. 

Looking at my clock, feeling grief because God took 

away my wings. 

Now I'm trapped in the darkness with the devil. 

He sits on top of an iceberg, with no kindness, and I'm 

trying to reach his level. 

-Oscar, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: Good iwriting Oscar. You really turn it on in the home 
stretch. We bet you're a better writer than that fellow on the iceberg. 

101 All I 


I'm not surprised 'cause you told me what you told me, 

you did it 'cause you know me, see that's been official, I 

love you but I got to let you go 

I don't see no possibility that anything can go 

And I don't like what hurts more 

The fact that everything we had before was everything 

that I was looking for 

Or the fact I ever love you told you that I trust you 

You throw it in my face and told me, screw you 

But you see the truth is, I loved you and I prove it 

But now I realize that that was stupid 

I gave you something that I never gave 

My heart in every way trying to make a better way 

I never thought I say what I'm about to say 

I wish you all the luck in the world, I'll be ok 

That's firme, I'll take it right back where I started 

I rather be alone than be with you, broken-hearted 

-Bic, Santa Clara 

From The Beat: Powerful poem. Many of u% can relate to your situation. 
We've all loved people who have hurt u%, people we may be better off 
with. There's a saying in Spanish, Mejor solo que mal acompanado, 
which means "better off alone than in bad company." It takes a very 
mature person to realize this. It's hard but sometimes you gotta do what 
you gotta do. 



7 nn 

//// // 

If I Was A Superhero! 

Hey Beat! What's crackin'? Me just about to write about 
this topic. So about this week's topic. When I was little I 
grew up with those old-school super hero's, like Batman, 
Superman, X-men, Spiderman, etc. 

I sometimes do imagine about having super powers. I 
imagine about being able to fly, being super fast, being able 
to go through walls, being super strong, telekinesis by 
being able to move things around, and being immortal. 

I know right now I would probably use it to do bad 
things like rob. But sometimes I think about being around 
the world and helping the people that are suffering in 
third world countries. I would probably fly and take food 
to all the starving and people in need. Wars mess up the 
planet so I would probably intimidate those who cause 
the wars. I would help my community. But I would also 
have to do my own thing. That be cool also if other people 
had superpowers and were evil so I can fight them. That's 
not good but I need to have a challenge. I know there 
would be people that also would have powers for good. 

I would be laughing if they made my own cartoon and 
movies. I would be famous having my own comic books, 
trading cards, and even my own video game. Well that's 
only daydreaming. But still at least I know I got a good 
imagination. It's good to have a little bit of kid in you. 
Alright then that's all for now Beat. Alrato. 

- Victor, Santa Clara 

From the Beat: We totally agree that it's good to have a little kid in 
you Victor, it^ important to keep a youthful heart. It seems from your 
piece, though, that you would struggle between doing good with these 
powers and not-so-good things with these powers. From what we've 
%een from you, we sincerely believe you would choose to do good. It 
says a lot about you that you're thinking about these things too. Keep 
up the good fight. 

Next Life 

As I hear the birds call 

I whistle in return - 

seeing blurry visions of my death, 

watching my body burn. 

Some call it a nightmare. 

I call it my final release 

from the drama with this lifestyle 

and the hell we call the streets. 

I'll be down until I'm dead, 

so until then I'm still troopin'. 

Some homies tend to drift away. 

But in the end, we're still regroupin' 

in walls of this jungle, 

or a place called thugs mansion. 

We'll still be a family. It doesn't matter 

what happens. Some homeboys 

wanna talk and show their true sides, 

doing what they think they gotta do, 

saying they only got one life. 

So, life might be the price, 

and 'til my judgement day 

I'll be thinking about what my next life brings 

as I sit here and listen to the birds sing. 

-Mike, Santa Cruz 

From The Beat: Mike - better to listen to the birds sing and think about 
this life, the only one you know you have for sure. You have occasional 
moments of brilliance, sk% a writer. Consider what you might accomplish 
if you took yourself seriously. Forget that 'thugs castle' business. You've 
got bigger dreams, better dreams. Do your very best in this life and you 
won't have to waste time thinking about the next. 

ve I 
ou I 

SMnnnnEME MMwrnim 


Wantino Somethino So Bad 


Sitting in this camp makes a person want a lot of things that 
they feel is unreachable, so today I'm going to speak on that. 

Being in camp it makes me want so much I feel very 
necessary, like being able to go to school of my own free will or 
doin' something special for my mom or grandmother and going 
to my junior prom, playing ball wit' my baby brother ...stuff that 
I miss doing -- even punkin' my lil' sister to stay away from other 

Or even just being able to be outside freely so now I see why 
older heads tell us to value everything that I got right here in 
front of me but I push it away like some young street punk. Then 
I'm not going home 'cause of stupid ninjas around my way ....but 
it's good 'cause I'm 'bout to come out to play. 

-Lir Solid 
From The Beat: The things you miss while you're locked up are also the 
simple joys you will want to focus on when you get out, because sk% you 
already know, it's a lot of stress on the outs. Staying in the family circle 
and studying - well, we hope both of those things are part of your long- 
term strategy. 

Losino Patience 

Fm losing patience with fools who take my kindness for 


From The Beat: It makes %en%e that when people read you wrong, 
especially if you feel they're disrespecting you, you might start losing 
your patience. When this happens, you're probably the one that feels 
the frustration the most — is there stny advice you'd give others in this 
situation? Anything you can do that helps you when you feel this 

Cheese Eaters 


I'm tired of these cheese-eating ninjas on the streets 


Mad 'cause ninjas doing it live and they faking 

Me and my ninjas stay strapped like Rambo 

But they be looking at my pocket and asking where Fm 

'bout to go 

It's cheese eaters in every hood 

But they always talking bout if 5-0 get me I never would. 

-Dirty D. 

From The Beat: Don't think about the cheese-eaters. Make your own life 
better. Let them eat cheese, you eat legit chedda. 

Patience With My Brotlier 


This is ya boy Lil' Miami, telling y'all about patience. 

Man, to tell you the truth, I lost all my patience with 
the world especially with my brother. I just talked to him 
Monday and the way he talked to me it was like drugs just 
took over my brother's mind. I have lost all patience with 
him, I'm telling you, I nearly am afraid for him. I love that 
ninja with all my heart! 

-Lir Miami 

From The Beat: It must hurt the heart, watching a loved one struggle 
and not being able to help him. But right now, it's about looking out for 
you, Lil' Miami - you know the expression "Keep your eyes on the prize, 
right? So tell u%, what is your prize? 

For I 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmEm ^/// // 

^ />j. 


Helping Hand 

I need a helping hand 

Because I can't understand 

Why? Fm sitting here in the hall dealing it like a man 

When I should be at home with the family 

Relaxing, and rehearsing songs with the band 

Turning on the TV to watch the show Gangland 

Because I understand 

That our community needs a helping hand. 


From The Beat: We too can't understand why you're here. Wouldn't you 
rather be out having fun with your family and friends? Wouldn't you 
rather be wearing your own clothes and eating whatever you want? if 
you need help don't hesitate to ask u% or any of your loved ones. 

I Can Do It 

Hey Beat, what's good? This yo' girl Crystal, just 
dropping a line. I can't wait, I'm about to be eighteen, and 
I'm getting out soon. I ain't gonna lie, I am kinda scared 
to be eighteen 'cause now I don't have moms to lean on. 

Man, it's so much stuff going on at home, I'm happy 
not to be going back. Moms is tryin' to take custody of my 
daughter because she don't think I can do it, but I know 
I can, I just need help. It seems like now that I am asking 
for help, it's too late. I know that I can do it, and I can't 
wait to prove to the world, "I CAN DO IT!!" 

-The King's Wife 

From The Beat: We believe you can do it, but HOW will you do it? There 
are people on the outs you need to avoid, people on the outs you need 
to seek out... and you'll need real support. Where are you going to get 
that support? 

I'm Back 

What's good Beat? It's yo' boy Shorty from Hay ward. 
I know I haven't written to the Beat for a while, that's 
because I been out handling my business, but I am back 
so let's see... the reason I came back is because I beat 
someone up for threatening me, but unfortunately I am 
back so I got to make the best of it, feel me? 

But besides that, I am mad that I am back. I might be 
going to CYA, that is if they find me guilty, but if not, I'll 
be back in the hood kicking it with the homies. 

But yep, that's all. Oh, and for all at camp, keep yo' 
head up and don't run, just do your program so you can 
get out and go home. So just pimp that shhh and much 
love from yo boy. 


From The Beat: The problem is that you don't seem to have any plan for 
how to make your life better when you get out. if you DO go back to the 
homeboys, then honestly how long do you think it will be before you 
find yourself right back in jail? is it iworth trying something different 

next time? 

I Miss Home 

I miss my mother and I miss my father 

Being here in jail makes my life harder 

I miss my sisters and I miss my daughter. 

Missing my love ones pushes me to go home faster. 

I'm tired of jail it seems like I'm in living hell 

When I feel lonely there is no one 

To talk to there is no one to tell. 

I keep it to myself I cry on my own I 

miss my loved ones I miss my home. 


From The Beat: We bet everyone who reads this will feel what you're 
describing, it's hard to be cut off from your loved ones. What do you do 
to keep yourself focused and out of trouble? 

Miss Tiie Fam-Bam 


1 1 

Hey Beat, yep I was with my family, it was cool, I had 
everybody come over and had a fat party for me. 

My mom and my brother came over and I had hella 
fun. It was cool being with the fam-bam. 

Now that I am back, I wish I never did what I did, 
but now I just got to deal with it, feel me. Now that I am 
locked up AGAIN, I really miss my family but I go back 
to court on the 23rd, then the 30th, so we'll see what 
happens. But that's all for this week, much love. 


From The Beat: it^ like a revolving door, in/out/in/out. You deserve 
better than being stuck in this cycle, don't you think? What keeps 
bringing you back? 


M) 2011 


What's up Beat? Nine months of being caught up in the 
juvenile justice system but next week I'll be on my way 
out of this place. Hopefully I'll get release but I expect the 
worst. Once I get out I'm never coming back I hate this 
place until next time I'm gone. 

-Lil' Mang 

and don't be a stranger to The Beat! 

From The Beat: Good luck. 

Tai(ino Yourself 

What's up Beat? I wanted to talk to you about my potna. 
He took himself away with a bullet, he was my closest 
friend and what I want to say is don't take yourself away 

I ... RIP Malo aka Lowkey. 

I -Snowman 

I From The Beat: We're so sorry to hear that you lost your friend. Did you . 
I know he was struggling or did his death come sk% a complete shock? I 

I Got Tiie Power! 

I got the power walking up and down my street 

I got the power I'm by myself 50 hood ninjas deep 

I got da power illegally getting rich 

I hope I got enough power so the ninjas won't snitch 

I got the power my dude run the spot 

I hope he got enough power 'cause the hood is getting hot 

I got the power smacked off these pills 

I guess I ain't have enough power 'cause 

I smacked myself right up 150th hill 


From The Beat: Good point, we like how you set it up so you seemed in 
control and hooked us in - then at the end you showed u% how all that 
so-called "control" can mess you up. Are you basing this on what you' 
been through, or what you've seenl 

\ I 

Siiiiii Happeos 



Sometimes we wonder why this happens, and why that 

I guess shhh happens, that's why I live my life day by 
day, and maybe that's why I came back to the hall. I don't 
know, I wish I did, but again shhh happens so we really 
don't know what's coming around the next corner. 

That's one thing I wish I could find out, but since we 
can't, I hope for the best and expect the worst, so that's 
what's on my mind. Write more next time. 

-Lil' One 

From The Beat: it sounds like you don't think you have skny control over 
your life. But you do! Think of the decisions you made on the outs that 
kept you out of jail, or the ones you made that brought you TO jail. You 
have more control than you think! 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmEm ^^^/^^ 


Soon ru get released. 

Soon Fm going to be a father. 

Soon my life's going to change. 

Soon will be a free man. 

Soon ru say screw the system. 

I'm so happy that soon everything that I wanted will 

come true, 

I thank God for having patience with me and not letting 

me down, 

I thank the judge for giving me one last chance... 

To be continued... 

- Gordo 

From The Beat: 'To be continued" is right - because now you are moving 
on to the next chapter in your life. Keep u% posted and let us icnow how 
your story turns out! 


Hood Power 


Violence is not a necessary ingredient of power. You 
could have power without violence but you would have 
a different kind of power. When you use violence to get 
power it make your power like hood power or something 
like that. Street power rather. Street power come with a 
lot of fame and honor. So if you ask me no violence is 
not a necessary ingredient of power but in my hood, it's 
almost mandatory. 


From The Beat: That's a good way to put it - hood power versus world 
power. The problem with hood power is that it's too easy to lose to 
a bullet or a cuff. Is it possible to survive without fighting for hood 
power? And focus on getting that world power instead? 

Lost My Patience 


I already lost patience coming here. I know not to get in 
trouble, so I won't come back. Not to hang out with those 
who get me in trouble. 

Also to make the right decisions. I would just back 
off of people and walk away so I wouldn't hurt them. To 
lose patience with myself I would just have to talk to 
someone close. 

My mom lost patience with me because I started to 
get in trouble and got locked up. 


From The Beat: A lot of times we get very frustrated and lose patience 
with something we really want and can't have (like getting out), and 
then sk% soon si% we get it, we take if for granted. What are things you 
think you can do to avoid this trap? You said something about making 
the right decisions - what decisions are the right ones for you? 

I'm jionoa Sliine 


Man I'm tired of this Juvy System. Free my bra bras and 
me man Why can't I just go back to the old days. Now my 
bro' lookin' at six years. It's good though, he's gonna get 
out and shine. Me I promised him to do good and stop 
kickin' it with all these fake people. So when I get out I'm 
gonna shine for him. 


From The Beat: How are you going to shine? What is your plan? You 
already know that the minute you turn 18 it all changes. You'll have 
more freedom, you'll have more responsibility. What will you do with 

How Tlie Police Act 

In my neighborhood the police act like pigs, and how 
they act like pigs is because they will drive up on you 
and take all yo' money and they don't even have to find 
nothing, they will accuse you of doing wrong. When you 
try to get your money back downtown they look at you 
like you a fool, and not just that, when they raid your 
house they can find dope and money and they will keep 
it. I mean all the money and some of the dope and then 
give you a case! 

After that, they take you to jail and when you get there 
they make you pay for everything and if you don't you can 
starve so out the whole deal you in custody and off the 
street and they get paid the whole way around and when 
you get out you still got to pay for what they put on you 
so that's why the police is scandalous. 


From The Beat: This is a really hard topic you bring up. Do you think 
the problem is the few shady police officers, the system, or both? If you 
could change things around to make them fair, what would you do? It's 
so hard feeling like you're being treated unfairly, especially if it's the 
people who help run the system you live in. Thank for your thoughts 
and keep writing! Lastly, if this doesn't teach you that crime doesn't 
pay, what will? Leave the shady cops and the drugs alone! 

Losiflo Patieoce 

Being in here you a run out of patience not know what's 
gon' happen on yo' court date, keep detaining you, tellin' 
you to come back in two weeks, detained, they act like 
the days don't add up or something haha!! But I'm gonna 
do this lil' time knock it out for me!! 

-Lil' Fred 

From The Beat: Spending your time waiting to find out how long 
you have to wait to get out is so frustrating, no wonder you're losing 
patience. What does that mean to you though? How can you tell when 
you're losing patience - do you get angry? Upset? We want to know 
how this affects you. 

Caoght Up 

I'm caught up in the game 
Drugs violence and this juvenile hall stuff got me crazy 

Too many youngstas poppin' pills puttin' holes in they 


Thinkin' pimpin', and sittin' on the thang 

Got to feed they family. 

All they know is to slang 

Swollen brains for disrespecting blocks and turfs 

End up in that black casket in the back of the Hearst 


From The Beat: The game you describe is tragic, but it's yourself that 
can set you free/Your power with words is magic/If you're locked up 
in a game, your intelligence is the key/to open the door to the world 
outside/where there is more to do than grind or ride/or cry for those 
who've killed or died/if you go back to school and live with square - 
with pride. 



I Lost My Faoilly 

Some people say their family is always there for them 
but it's different for me. Everyday since I've been locked 
up in this Hell, my family has lost their patience and 
disowned me. 

The first time in my life that I really needed them, they 
turn their backs. The only family I got left is my mom, 
and my baby sis. My mom has always been there for me 
£md always will. Sometimes I wish she wasn't because all 
the pain I have caused her! I 

Pray every night so my sis' don't follow my path. My 
hood homies been there since I can remember. It's one of 
the only things I have left. To all keep your head high. 


From The Beat: The thing is, they may be there for you, but they're in 
trouble themselves, so in some ways all they can do is pull you into 
more trouble. We're not saying the love isn't real - we just wonder if 
homie love is going to get you ivhere you need to be. 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmEm ^/// // 

^ />j. 

Power Without Violeoce 


I think violence is really the way young people is using, 
because that's the only thing that conies to mind. And 
then they end up in a really serious situation that is really 
bad too, because they choose the violent way to go. 

Also, when people try to do the right way, some 
people just don't listen to what they tryin' to know what's 
going on. And then when that happens, that's when they 
feel like they can't go to one that could help them out 
with their problems they got going on. But there is some 
people in the world that could change their life and not 
turn to violence and look forward to life. 

-Lil' Joe 

From The Beat: You bring up some interesting thoughts. Why do you 
thinic violence is the first thing to come to mind? Why not taiicing first? 
Sounds iiice you've been in a situation where you tried taiicing and it 
didn't woric so you used violence instead. Maybe it's time you become 
one of those people in the world you wrote about that can change their 
lives and not use violence anymore! 

Times Get Crazy 


Man I'm tired of this place, I'm going crazy. I need to get 
out, this place is really making me go crazy. It used to 
not matter to me coming here but when you start to come 
here a lot, one day when you come here it will just damn 
get to you like damn why I keep coming back. It's really 
crazy like damn. 

Ain't you tired of this shhh already? Tired of wastin' 
your mom's time comin to visit you, stressing your mom 
and yourself. I know it's hard when you out, and you 
need money, you just don't care. You do what you got to 
do to make money. But just think damn, that shhh lame, 
lock up all the time. 


From The Beat: Maybe there are things you can do to get money that 
don't land you back in the hall over and over again. You Icnow you don't 
want to be locked up anymore, and you know what you can do to keep 
that from happening. Just listen to yourself, keep your desire to be on 
the outs even after you're actually out! 

What's Up Beat 

It's ya boy Lil' Black. I been here for a minute, but you 
know, shhh happens. When I get out I'm gonna try not 
to come back. 

I go to court tomorrow, I hope they give me a release. 
If they don't I'ma cuss the judge out. But if I don't, you 
know I'm gonna come back and do my weak program. 
But you know I'm tryin' to go see my girl. But once again, 
shhh happens. But I gotta go to my room, so peace. 

-Lil' Black 

From The Beat: You can do more than try not to come back. Sure, shhh 
happens, but that doesn't mean you can't do anything to stop it. You 
have choices, and you can decide for yourself not to do anything that 
could land you back where you don't want to be, where a judge gets to 
decide iwhere you stay and what you do. 

'Super Hero' 


If I can be a super hero I would have special powers, like I 
can fly. I got too much problems with the law and I would 
wish that I can fly away from here and go somewhere far 
away. But at the same time I want to change the hands 
of time. I would be able to flx my life and be able to start 
over new. 


From The Beat: Those are both really awesome powers to have. Being 
able to escape or start over isn't only possible with superpowers though. 
You can't change the hands of time, but you can start fresh, pick a new 
path now. You have so much time ahead of you, 
than now. 

there's no better time 

Free Me Now 


Free me now 'cause I could do better. 

Free me now so I could go to school. 

Free me now so I could take care of my family. 

Free me now so I could do my purpose in life. 

Free me now so I could prove to people I am not the 

failure they think I am. 

Free me now so I can make my money. 

Free me now so I can be with my lady. 

Free me now so I can live my life. 

Free me now. 

-Lir Mike 

From The Beat: This cry for freedom spealcs straight to the heart - and 
you'll have that freedom soon. In the meantime, have you had time to 
thinic about your purpose in life, about your long term goals, about your I 
past mistakes? Are you ready for freedom? I 


Wiiat's Hangifl' Beat 


What's up Beat, man this ya boy Lil' Fred, back in this 
thang. They tryna send me to group home or camp, I go 
to court tomorrow. 

Hopefully when I get out I stay out and move on to 
better things. Start rappin again and getting in the studio 
make hits again to stay outta trouble. Do the things I 
gotta do to get on track, start kickin it with my mom 
and just stay out the streets 'cause it ain't safe out there 

-Lir Fred 

From The Beat: Sounds like a good plan. Just what you must do to 
keep yourself from coming back. Do you think it would be harder for 
you to keep yourself out if you end up in a group home or camp? Do 
you need to maice yourself a bacic up plan in case that does happen? It's 
a possibility, so it^ always better to prepare yourself before the results 

I I 

Seier Ael levisible 


\ I 

I don't got a favorite superhero but anybody invisible, I 
got respect for them heroes. I wish I was invisible to get 
out of here. 

This is not the place for me. I got so much to think 
about in here, but I really don't think on the outside. 
Now I think and all I want is one more chance to show 
everybody I can do something with my life. 

I just want to get out, go to school, and be with my 
family. Forget my friends. I'm not even worried about 


From The Beat: It makes total %en%e that all you want to do is be at 
home with your family again. But like you said, you think that now 
because you have so much time to think, but when you're on the outs 
you don't think about that stuff. Maybe there's something you could do, 
put on your wall in your room at home or something, to keep reminding 
yourself to think about that stuff when you have your freedom back, 
to keep appreciating it, so you won't end up back in the hall wishing 
you had it back. 


ng I 



It's having your own little cousin 

And doing things on your down little cousin 

And trying to succeed little cousin a 

And trying to get your own apartment 

Living on your own little cousin 

Taking care of your own responsibility at all times little 

And holding your own little cousin 

-Young Man 

From The Beat: We cut the last bit of your piece because that is NOT the 
advice anyone should take. Think of how many people have died, how 
many mothers have cried, on account of people following that advice? 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmEm ^/^/^/ 


If I had a superpower I would want it to be to be able to 
rewind time. 


From The Beat: What would you do with your power, and why would 
you want this one in particular? No more one liners - give u% more 
ivriting next time! 


Well court is coming up and I know Fm going home. 
Well... I think if I believe in something hard enough that it 
will come true, so yeah Fm going home. 

The only reason my PO is trippin' is because my 
dad used to be a pimp. They think Fll become one even 
though Fm a female. Fm irritated because my dad doesn't 
even seem like he used to be one. He raised all of his 
kids, he's a family man. Well we'll see what happens. 

I have goals for when I get out. School, a job, my 
permit. By the summer time Fll have my car. Fve been 
in here a month and one week. I can't complain because 
people have been in here longer. I just have to remember 
they can't keep me locked up forever. I have a life to live 
and goals to achieve. When I get out my life will start over, 


From The Beat: Lizzie, thank you for sharing your goals and dreams. You 
have so much going for you in this life, and we would hate to see you 
ending up on the wrong path and back in jail. Stay focused, and you 
can do great things! 

Free Me Please 

What's up Beat? Well I know my topic is something 
that everybody in this situation wants. But I believe that 
we all have weakness. But I don't want my weakness to 
always be being in juvenile hall, but it to be not doing my 
best at something. 

As God says, "you must obey the laws of the land." 
But thanks for listening. 

-Gone Bad Reese 

From The Beat: This piece is little confusing Reese. What do you mean 
by the quote you refer to? What does it mean to you, and how doe it 
relate to you wanting your weakness to be not doing your best? We 
want you to be doing your personal best at the stuff you do. 


When I get out from here Fm gonna make a change in my 
life 'cause I have a baby on the way, and I had messed up 
so many times, but I feel like this is juvenile. 


From The Beat: Becoming a father really makes a difference, doesn't it? 
What kinds of changes do you intend to make. 

Never Put The Gun Duwn 

Never put the gun down 

In my section of my city, we was told never put the gun 

down 'Cause soon as you put the gun down. 

That's when the enemy gonna come around 

And you stuck on the scene full of bullet rounds 


From The Beat: There's another way to look at it too though - which 
is "Never pick the gun up." We know that even if you stay away from 
trouble, it can always find you, but there's no reason to help it along. 
There are plenty of people, even in the roughest parts of Oakland, who 
find other ways to keep safe: 1. They stay off the streets at night, 2. 
They stay away from street activity and focus on getting out and away 
from the block. Are you doing that? 


\ I 

Lusing Patience 


I am losing patience because I am supposed to get out of 
here. The group home was supposed to get me but they're 
playing and my patience is running real thin. Right about 
now I am so tired of being in here. I am ready to get the 
heck out of here and drink and smoke and get some loge! 
I am so ready to eat regular food instead of this nasty food 
make you sick! 

- Cheyenne 

From The Beat: We knoiv that iwe sometimes sound like a broken record, 
but you have to remember, this is JAIL. We hope that this experience 
prevents you from coming back. If you can stay focused in your group 
home — do your homework, and stay positive, hopefully this experience 
will be a foggy memory in your past. 

A Father Figure 

Well Fm gone talk about my father. He's a real provider 
'cause he puts food on the table. He does everything for 
the good of his kids, like a father figure is supposed to do, 
even though I see him every other week. 

He drives for a living. I still love him 'till this day. I 
went on a couple of trips with him and it was fun. He buys 
me a lot of stuff. He once told me when we had just got 
done wrestling, "at least I know Fm feeding you the right 
food." But I respected it. But Fm gone Beat Within. 

-Lil' M-U 

From The Beat: Your old man is working sk% hard sk% he can to put food on 
the table, (the right food) and you are paying him like this. Fathers like 
the one you've described are hard to find. You are a lucky one. There are 
so many young men who wish they had the one you have. It's time you 
show this man your appreciation, but not like this. 

I \ I II \ 1 .IE \ \\ II 

Mom's My Hero 

My super hero is my mom. 

She's strong, brave, respectful, respected, and beautiful. 

She has a lot going for herself. 

My mom is 34 years old, but looks 19. 

I love my mom, 

she's not easy to talk to, but when we do talk, she's 


My mom makes me (me). Without my mom, Fd have no 

idea who or where Fd be. 

My mom makes me (me) and I love her for her courage, 

and support 

she shows and gives me. 

My mom is strong physically and emotionally. I love you 

mom for being you. 

-Brianna The Lady 

From The Beat: We appreciate hearing about your mom Brianna. We 
hope that with your mother's guidance and support, you can stay strong 
and free. 


I Where Do You See Yoorself lo 10 Years?"^ 

In ten years I see myself driving a cool car in Oakland, 
with paper in my pocket and a blunt in my mouth. 

And I see myself in the hood like always, but I'ma 
still have a job. I don't see myself going to jail anymore 
but I'ma still be a gangsta on the block 'cause I ain't fake 
and I'ma always represent. 

I see myself with a kid and a BAD chick. And I'm 
gonna still be riding and getting on with my boys and 
homies that I grew up with. 


From The Beat: It seems like it might be sort of hard for you to both 
raise your family legit AND represent. How do you intend to do that, 
and still be there for your children and your work? 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmEm '^^^^i 

Group Home 

^' f 

What's up Beat? So I am going to a group home down in 
LA for two years for something I didn't do. But for being 
in the right place at the right time is making me pay the 
price. But it's cool, I do my time and get out. 

So tomorrow I go to court but I know what they going 
to say. Group Home. 


From The Beat: What is it about going to a group home that you don't 
liice, or are you dreading it just cause it's in LA? It must be so frustrating 
feeling like you're being punished for something you didn't do. But liice 
you said, at this point you just gotta do your time and get out. Best 
to you! 

Losiog PatieoGO 

I'm tired of bein in here, it's not cool. You gotta eat this 
nasty food being locked up for something I didn't do. 

When I get out I'm gonna go to school and not be no 
fool because I let the streets get the better part of my life 
and it ain't nothing nice stayin' out all night and that ain't 
the life I want to live anymore. 

It's not getting me anywhere. Getting shot at everyday. 
I ain't gon' lie, me and my hood we get down. 

-Lil' Ree 

From The Beat: What was so appealing to you about life on the streets 
originally? It's great that you feel like you don't want to do that 
anymore, but what can you do to make sure once you're released you 
don't go back to the streets? Making a plan for yourself is the best way 
to avoid ending up back in the hall, and quit the bragging how big and 
bad you are! 

Yoo Cao't Have Power Without Violeooe 

You can't have power without violence because if you 
get into any argument with anybody in the street, there's 
always going to be violence involved. People think that 
without violence, it's never going to be solved 


From The Beat: But do you know any people on your block, elders for 
example, whom people just respect because they are good people - who 
could break apart a fight or a conflict before it got too heavy? 

If You Could Have Aoy Job, What Would It Be? 

If I would ever work, I would work with kids. I never 
had problems with kids, I used to take care of little kids 
making money, well actually, I would make someone take 
care of them for free ...and say it was my kid. 


From The Beat: Would you ivant to work with kids sk% a fulltime job? 
As a counselor, a coach, a teacher? What age group would you like to 
work lAfith? 

Is It Worth It? 

All the things I do, is it worth it? I do too much stuff for 
people to know me. But will I be remembered? I think 
not. I do all those things for people to know me, but I 
know one-day people will forget about me. 

They will forget about the little Asian guy that put in a 
lot of work for his gang. The one Asian guy outta his hole 
gang that stay out on the block all night to make all his 
money. But was all that worth it? Stayin' out hitting all 
those licks. I was shining to people like it was nothing, 
but yet was all that worth it? 

-Lil' Rikki 

From The Beat: You are learning! You won't be remembered. We can't 
understand why you continue doing things for others to see, if they 
won't appreciate your effort? What^ the point? What exactly are you 
trying to prove? ^Nsk% it worth it? What do you think? You asked a 
question without giving the ansiver. 

I I 

\ 1 

! I 

Losing Patience 


What's up Beat? I went to court today and they told me 
to come back in two weeks. 

I am starting to lose patience on not being sentenced. 
I'm getting super mad because I have been waiting about 
a month and a half. I am not just impatient in waiting, 
but also I am getting impatient being back and forth in 
the same place. But I believe that god don't put too much 
on you that you can't bear. 

-Gone Bad Reese 

From The Beat: It's totally normal that you would be losing patience 
over this waiting. But sk% normal sk% your feelings are, it doesn't change 
the fact that you do have to wait. Maybe there are things you can do to 
make the waiting easier. Are there things that help you calm yourself 
down when you start getting frustrated? 

• to I 
;elf I 

The Real Me? to get money, have fun, be with my fam, be with my 
wife, ride with my ninjas, chill all night. The real me, I 
like to shine and get mine so to all you haters get off me 
fast, me and my ninjas get it all day ya dig. 

-Lil' Marcus 

From The Beat: What are your dreams in the long term... do you expect 
to still be 'riding with your ninjas' when you are 30, 40 years old? Do 
you have future dreams and future plans? 

Losing My Ride or Die 

Today was a very sad day. My ride or die chick left and I 
don't know if I will withstand the hall without her. I feel I 
lost a part of my heart. I feel I lost the ray of my life, the 
love of my life and also my "Bussit Babe", but I will live 
and will love her 'til the day I die. I can't wait to get the 
heck up out of this county. I'm out, peace. 


From The Beat: lt% sad to see someone you care about leave, but it% 
great news for her. Hopefully you will be reunited soon, doing positive 
things together, and not in jail.... 

Jost Hanglfl' 


What's up Beat? I just hangin'. Trying to make the best 
out of every situation. 

I got six to nine as my time. But I am still grateful 
because I know a few with a kick stand I pray for their 
lives and mine. I'm trying to keep my head up and never 
give up on hangin in there. 

I just tell all those who got a long sentence it's not the 
end of the world. 

-Gone Bad Reese 

From The Beat: Some great words of advice you got in here. Maybe you 
got some advice for our readers on what they can do to try and make 
the best of their situations like you wrote about. How exactly do you 
do that? 

Wonder WoDian 

My favorite super hero is Wonder Woman because she 
is a girl and she's cool. She takes charge and her little 
outfit is tight. 

If I was her I would fiy to Paris and to Mars and do 
a whole lot of cool stuff. I would go to the bottom of the 
ocean and swim with the fishes and I would save people 
who need to be saved like little kids and grown ups from 
all the villains. 

- Cheyenne 

From The Beat: This is a great description of Wonder Woman! Even 
without super powers, you can still go to Paris and swim with the fishes 
and %skMe people one day., the only thing that might be difficult is going 
to Mars! 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmEm ^/^/// 

^ />4i 

The Girl of My Dreams 

X f 

When I first met this girl, she was what I wanted. She let 
this ninja she didn't know in her whip and let me kick it 
with her. She didn't judge a ninja, she accepted me for 
who I was. She made a ninja comfortable. She was so 
sexy, if I wasn't shy I would have tried to get with her, but 
I was stuck and didn't know what to do. 

When I see her again I'm gonna get her and never let 
her go ever. I don't care if you ninjas think I'm soft, but 
she's a queen. 

Don't trip on yo' time 'cause yo' ninja gone be here. 

-Sydy Bo 

From The Beat: It's rare to find a person who really accepts you for who 
you are and doesn't judge you. What are the personal qualities you'd 
like to offer in return to someone like her? 


What's up Beat? Me nothin' just hella bored waitin' to 
go back home soon because this place hella boosie. I just 
waiting to go to court and see what the judge is going 
to do wit' me. I think he goin' to try to send me to the Y 
because of what I did, but I did not do nothin'. 

I know what I did, and I did not rob nobody. It's just 
the police don't got nothing to do, just pick people off the 
street so they can get paid extra money if they pick people 
that just want to make something out of themselves. So 
wit' that I will let you go. 

-Lil' Sosa 

From The Beat: This world is definitely not a fair one, and fo sho the 
justice system isn't fair. What kinds of things can you do for yourself, 
being caught in stn unjust situation like this? If someone else came to 
you with the same complaint, what would you say to them? Does it help 
to tell your story or get people on the outs to write letters? Does it make 
you want to keep far away from anything/anyone that could get you in 
trouble when you're on the outs? Is there anything that can help 
from getting really down about having your freedom taken away? 

you J 

Question and Answer 


What are you most likely to get tempted by? 

Lonnie Bo's A: The thing that could probably tempt 
me so I won't reach my goal to do better is probably 
getting in all that negative shhh out there again. 

Do you have positive friends you could be with? 

Lonnie Bo's A: Well, yes, I do have positive friends I 
could hang out with and yes, my family is positive. And 
they are good role models. 

-Lonnie Bo 

From The Beat: It's good to know you have family you can count on. Do 
you also play a sport - a coach can help too! Once you are released, stop 
by the offices and let u% know how you are doing! 

t II II ! 

11 H 11 ! 11 II 

Rest In Peace ur D 

Rest In Peace Lil' D, we miss you boy. I wish we was still 
together shining on ninjas. I'm gonna get this money for 
you because on the real, you might be gone and you know 
I can't speak for everybody, but you're never forgotten. 

I remember all the times we been through, good and 
bad. Ain't shhh the same no more, ninjas getting knocked 
down. It's 08 so you know we gone do what we gotta do to 
take care of you. I just want you to know that I love you 
bra and always will, no matter what, we're all we got boy, 
cause shhh just too real. 

-Young Purp 

From The Beat: How are you going to make that money? What is your 
long term plan? How do you want to "shine" long term. What about 
schooling, a job you like, a chance to live somewhere safe for you and 
your children? 

My Mom Lost Patience Witli Me 


The first person who ever lost patience with me was 
my mom, because I kept getting into trouble at school, 
and kept getting into fights and getting suspended from 
school. The reason I kept getting suspended from school 
was because I was hanging out with the wrong crowd and 

I thought it was cool. 
But now that I look back at all that shhh, I know it 
was hella stupid. That's why when I get out, I'm gonna do 
better for me and mom. 
I -Lonnie Bo 

I From The Beat: Do you have a teacher you like that you can talk to? Did 
I coming to the hall help you decide to make a change in your mind? 


Dentil Cry Fnr Attentinn 

He's ringing and ringing calling the phone, 

death want attention, it's the devil ring tone 

cry for attention, but there's no answer 

keep feeling the trapped and don't want to be pampered 

God says He love me, but I don't see it 

the devil shows me love, but labeled me a statistic 

playing trapped in the closet between the good and the 

bad navigated to the ruthlessness and overlook my pass 

I want the best, but get the worse every single time 

children breed the ruthless; and they committed a crime 

We live night and day as the devil playmate 

death cry for attention, let my soul escape. 

-Lil' Mainy The Prince 

From The Beat: It's seems like there is a huge bottle going on over your 
shoulders. On the right side, you got God telling you how much he loves 
you and asking you to fallow a different path and on the other one you 
got the devil offering everything there is in this planet; sk% result, it^ 
obvious the side you've picked. A bad choice! The question is, are you 
still going to let this side control your life? You got another choice, it's 
time to pick the right now. 


I I I I I I I I I 


lising Pitience 

I haven't run out of patience yet, but it seems as each 
day passes, I get to the point where I'm like the hell with 
this. These ninjas in here can get you upset. 

Too many ninjas run they mouth in here, and is not 
about what they be talking about. See me, I don't come in 
here telling all these stories about what I've been doing 
on the outs. 

First of all, I don't like everybody in my business. 
Second of all, I don't trust any of these ninjas. I think it 
took this time for losing my patience for coming here. I 
don't really like taking orders. 

I just thought about what I can be doing in the West 
right now. But instead I'm just wasting all my precious 
time in here. Time is money. 

All I could tell ya'U about if I lost my patience with 
someone, it would not be nothing nice. You can tell good, 
when I have lost or about to lose patience with someone. 
You know when you smacking and you see someone you 
don't like. 

Well that's how I feel most of the time in here. There 
are plenty of people who have lost it with me, and I really 
don't care. It doesn't matter if a person is cool with me or 
not. I really don't like anybody in these whole hall period. 
All right then, I'm out! 

-Oakland youngster 

From The Beat: You don't like to take order, but you always end up 
coming back to a place where you take orders and fallow them through. 
What's that about? Another thing we noticed from your piece is that 
you dislike what others say, and the only one to blame is nobody else 
but yourself for putting yourself in this position. If we were you, we 
would just avoid what others in here %xy. Worry about getting out and 
staying out of here. 

agnnnnnE wmwmim 

^mammmmmEm ^/^/^/ 

^ />4i 

I Can't Wait... 

I can't wait 'till I get out of here, so I could go on with my 
life, go back to the house and kicking with some females 
I've been dry for bout 2 Vi months. I need to go get some 
It's something that needs to be accomplished. 

Everyday I wonder who's doing what in Oakland. 
That's what keeps me going, just can't wait to go back to 
my 'hood. 

-Oakland youngster 

From The Beat: Why getting out, iwhen you ivill come back again? What 
do you thinic you'll get by going back over there? The same thing you're 
doing here, getting locked up, receiving order from someone you don't 
know, and not the freedom you were born with, is this what you want 
I again? If so, go back to your 'hood. 



Power Without Violeoce 

I don't think it is necessary, but it is used anyways. Yea I 
think we can have power and not be violent. Yea I know a 
couple people who have power and are not violent by how 
they carry themselves. 

I think that I might. The power comes from your mind. 
I use it when it is necessary. No I do not believe the old 
saying ["the pen is mightier than the sword"]. 


From The Beat: That's great that you have %een people who carry 
themselves in a powerful way. What tells you that they have power? Is 
it the way they look at people, the set of their head, the way they hold 
themselves up tall or seem to take up space side-to-side? When you use 
your %en%e of internal power, how do you do it? Does it work? 

Chanye What Happened 


If I can change what happened I would go back to see 
who got robbed. But they keep saying the dude who got 
robbed didn't see me, but this girl keeps saying she did. 
I think it's because she don't like me and I don't like 
her, so I think she's the reason I'm here. 

-Bad News 

From The Beat: The real issue is do you think you'll be able to stay away 
from the people and situations that got you caught up? The witness is a 
I minor part of the equation ~ the action is why you're here, right? 


All The Powers 


If I had super powers, 

I would love all tiie powers. 

I love powers and stuff like that. 

Powers are very special to everybody. 

I would do good with my powers, if I had them. 

I would be a hero. 

-Love Power 

From The Beat: So are you saying you'd want to have all the powers' 
Flying, fighting, turning invisible, teleporting... being a super-genius 
who could build anything? 




Stop complaining! I'm irritated when females come in 
here trippin' all the time, talking about how they need 
to hurry up and get up and get out and two weeks is too 
long. Some people are in here for months. All you have 
to remember is that they are not gonna keep you in here 
forever. Whatever you did that got you in here is gonna 
determine how long you're in here. So you shouldn't have 
been messing up on the outs if you gonna come in here 


From The Beat: Hopefully though, people hate jail so much that they 
make sure not to come back. That's the idea sknyyMxy. Do you think this 
is the reality? Why or why not? 



I think my superhero would have to be Superman. I 
would say him because he can do a lot, like fly, use x-ray 
vision, heat vision and he got super strength. 

-Fat B 

From The Beat: Good choice! If you had his power, what would you do 
with it? 

I'l Gine Get M) lite liitt 


Everyday I live 

It was a struggle to survive 

I tried to get money the wrong way 

Now I'm locked up in cell twenty-five 

Being locked up give me a chance to realize 

That I really need to open my eyes and be wise 

I finally see how it feel to have my freedom taken away 

I finally realized that it's a privilege to live everyday 

I see now that life is not a joke 

I can get money without sellin' coke 

I used to dress in all black 

'Cause I stayed hittin' licks 

I got caught now I'm nextdoor to my cousin 

When I get out I'm gone get my life right 

I kneel down and pray every night 

God gave me a vision 

So my future looking bright 

I'm not trippin' 'cause I'm gonna make it in life 

without a tussle or a fight 

-Yung C 

From The Beat: Nice piece! Great rhymes and nice flow, especially sk% you 
get into the piece. We also appreciate the sentiments of the piece, and 
so we're wondering, what^ your plan to get your life right? It takes a 
plan and follow-through to make change really happen. We hope you 
do, so when you on the outs you get to keep your freedom. 

Hard To Live On My Block 


It's hard to live on my block. Shhh just too real. It's a 
crazy environment we living in. 

We living in the wild, wild west for real. Every time you 
step outside your door you gone hear gunshots mostly. 
Right now, violence is just a way to survive. It's either you 
gone be in it or not, because you not gone be able to make 
that choice when it's too late. 'Cause shhh just too real. 

The first time I saw a violent crime, I was like 6, that I 
can remember. It was a shooting. 

-Young Purp 

From The Beat: Do you ever dream of getting away from your block.... 
Or do you wonder what your life would be liice if you had grown up in 
a safer place? Is it hard to find positive things in your neighborhood? - 
if you wanted to stay out of the heat, what would you need to change 
about how you lived? 

I abo 

1 1 1 

Tripping Or Gottino Mature 

I really don't run out of patience, smoking weed keeps me 
mellow and calm. Nowadays I don't even think of getting 
mad as because I'm maturing or because I'm tripping. 

- A quick thought 

From The Beat: You might be tripping, because if you were getting 
mature, you would not be here. I 

Lnslno Patience 

I don't really lose my patience 'cause I ain't really an 
angry person. But my mom lose patient with me 'cause I 
am a bad child. 


From The Beat: That% a good thing for you and bad one to your mom. 

/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmEm ^^^/^^ 

Losing Patience 

What rm losing patience for is when ninjas keep 
running they mouth. I got short temper and I try hard to 
hold it in. I been letting a lot of stuff slide but Fm bout 
to stop because I'm getting tired of these ninjas taking 
my kindness as a weakness. I'm not gonna let anyone 
disrespect me. 

I'm trying so hard to not get in trouble but if it gets 
down to it then I'm gonna defend myself. I'm also losing 
patience for waiting for my next court date because I been 
in here for six months now and I'm ready to find out and 
start my time. My time ain't even started yet. My time 
starts when I leave here. 

-Lil' Kev 

From The Beat: You are stuck between a rock and a hard place. On the 
one hand you don't want to get in trouble, but you feel sk% if you need 
to fight to stand up for yourself. Top it off, you aren't even sentenced 
yet. We think you it's time to look at things from a wider perspective. 
Let's say someone disrespects you in the hall: is it really worth messing 
up in there, possibly increasing the length of your sentence, to defend 
yourself against someone who might not even be worth messing with? 

Life Tlirougil My Eyes 

Life through my eyes would scare a sucker to death. 


From The Beat: Sorry to cut up your piece, but this felt more like a boast 
than a Beat Within piece. You are a really talented writer, so we hope to 
see more of your work that we can publish. 

Have Patience Or YnuDnn't 

I don't have patience for some people, but you have to be 
patient in the world because that the only way to move on 
or to get a great job in the long run. If you have patience, 
you wouldn't let nobody get to you even if they are makin' 
you mad. 

If you don't have patience, you are going to go off on 
anybody that you believe is messing with you or if you 
feel that what they are saying can't help you at all. So it 
leave you with two choices: either to have patience or you 
don't have patience. I'm one of the people who don't have 
patience, because I waited long enough to leave and I ran 
out of patience. 


From The Beat: It sure is hard to have patience when you are stuck 
in the hall waiting. But we agree with you that patience, along with 
determination and a clear plan, are going to help you in trying to get 
a good job or in doing what you want to do in the future. What helps 
you be patient when you are stuck in the hall? How can you develop 
your patience now so it'll be there when you really need it? — Like when 
you're on the outs and working towards your goals (since these will 
probably take some time to grow). 

at it again. I 
1 1 can plead | 

Stronger In Tiie Mind 

What's up Beat, this ya boy Young Purp back at i 

Ready to go to court in a couple more days so ] 

not guilty. They tryna send me on my way to the Y or the 


I'm just gonna knock this lil' time out and bounce J 
back stronger. But I need to be free though cause I'm a \ 
star in the hood. I'm being missed by hella people, so I 
gotta get back. 

Free Young Purp,! And what kind of stronger do I 
intend to be? Stronger in the mind. i 

-Young Purp \ 

From The Beat: Stronger in the mind, how? Like tougher? Or more 
educated about the world? We hope you read a lot in jail: About Malcolm 
X, Barack Obama, Spike Lee, Martin Luther King, and other men ivho 
have found a way to be 'stars' that is way bigger than just the hood. 
The system can limit your space to six by eight cell, but you are the only 
one who limits your mind. Set it free! 

J L 

Lnciieij up 


What's up Beat? 

Man it be so cold in this jail 

All in these cells some time it be like it's hell 

But this is the life I got to live 

I got to let it be but fo' sure it ain't for me 

I need to live my life 

And I need to get out fast like a car need gas 

Like a ninja need cash 

And if you never been here you don't want to come 

It's probably worse than being a bum 

What I'm sayin' is that this ain't the life 

I want to grow up and live a good life in paradise 

But for right now I'm locked up 

And all I know is I'm stuck 

And this is what I wrote for the Beat 

But shhh you know this me. 


From The Beat: If you want to grow up and live a good life you need to 
really think about what you doing. You can expect to lead the good life, 
but keep coming back and forth to jail. We know you can feel like you're 
stuck but it's up to you to be hungry for that good life and stop being 
stuck and get up and go get it. I 



I Refuse Tn Lnse Siglit 

Come out standing tall, even though my future is in the 

hands of someone that don't know me from Adam and 

Eve, but I'll be damned if I let this system make or break 

me. I'm gonna come out standing like a giant that's 

twelve feet, 

but when I get out, ain't no more doing shhh that could 

jeopardize me being free. 

The system want years of my life, 

they want me to cop a plea but I'm trying to see if I 

should fight, 

but if I lose eighteen years is a large portion of my life, 

an I'm gonna dog so whatever happens regardless I'll 

and no matter the outcome I refuse to lose sight. 

-Lil' New Orleans 

From The Beat: You are trying to decide between copping a plea and 
trying to fight your charges. That's a tough one. It's up to you and your 
team to make that decision, deciding which will be the best bet, but 
either way, you gotta find your own way to stand tall. Whatever you 
do, keep looking at the long term goal of getting out and getting back 
your freedom. Once you get out, it will take strength to stay away 
from things that jeopardize that freedom, but we think it's a courageous 

I'm Lnsino Patience 

I'm losing patience being in here, they need to hurry 
up and come and get me for the Y. I'm losing patience 
because I'm trying to get out and do my thang and shine 
on all these ninjaz, all these ninjaz that's hatin. Shine on 
all these females and shine for my ninjaz in jail. Get my 
dough and do my thang so can't nobody tell me nothing. 
They see me and respect me. 

But I got a little patience because that's how I'm gon' 
get where I want to be. But while I'm in here I am getting 
impatient because I have to do four years, but I'm hopin' 
while I'm waitin' I can get patience so when I get out I 
won't have no problem. 


From The Beat: Waiting for the Y, and waiting to do your time, that does 
take a lot of patience, so we can see why you'd be short on patience. We 
like your idea of working on it now so you'll be cool at having patience 
when you get out, since that will take you where you want to be. What 
kinds of things help you to keep yourself together when you are getting 
impatient? What would you suggest to someone else in your situation? 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ wmwmim 

^mammmmmEm ////^/ 

I Rather Be In The Hall 


What's up Beat? Well this is young Capy from Oakland. 
Well I'm back in the hall over some stupid shhh. I'm 
supposed to be in camp right now but it's all bad. I think 
I'm not going back to camp, I'll probably go to Santa Rita. 
But I ain't tripping, I'm gonna be programming up there. 
But I'm hella mad I was supposed to get out of camp, 
but I don't think that's gonna happen no more. But it's 
coo' though, camp is hella weak. I rather be in the hall 
kickin' it, reading books and shhh. Well, if y'all go to 
camp, refuse it or run when you get there because it's 
hella weak. Well I'm out. 


From The Beat: Sounds like you got yourself in a situation.... What 
specific things were weak about camp? Other than getting to do 
programming, why do you think it will be better at ^skntsk Rita? it's 
natural to think about the lousiness of where you are now or how much 
better someplace else will be, but what can you do for yourself when 
the annoyance at your current situation gets too high and it takes a 
change on the inside to make things better? 

The Hall 

When I come to the hall 

I'm tired of seeing all these walls 

When it's time for LME 

I like to play basketball 

They don't let me use my phone call 


From The Beat: You should stop coming to the hall so you can be out 
free chirping on your metro all day. You can be talking on the phone and 
playing basketball so you can stay out of trouble. 


O-Vile Beat 

I'm still here hella bored, without nothing to do. Just 
looking at the four walls. I'm just gonna kill my time so I 
could get out and be back on the streets with the homies 
and my main girl. 

Well I talked to my ex girl and she told me that she 
pregnant, but I don't know if it's true. If it is, I guess I'm 
gonna have to take care of my son or daughter. 

Well, I might be leaving on May 21st to ROP and come 
back to court on August 20th. But I don't know what the 
judge gonna do with me. Hope he let me out. 

I talked to my homie couple of days ago and he told 
me the hella shhh going out in the streets. I can't wait 
'till I get out because I want to be in the varrio (hood) 
with my homies and smoking blunts and going to parties 
getting at hynas (girls) so we could be having fun and 

I'm mad because I don't know when my primo (cousin) 
getting out, but I just wish him good luck. 

Keep your head up. Mucho love. 


From The Beat: We wish you luck whenever you leave to ROP. We hope 
you think about your life and what you want to do with it. Because 
going back to the hood and homies is only gonna guarantee you to 
come back here. So we hope you take this time to reflect. 

Free M) Peps 


What's up Beat, this your boy Lil' Charlie, just showing 
some love since I'm going down for a while bra! I'm telling 
everybody to stay true. Peace, and free my pops. Big 

-Lil' Charlie 

From The Beat: Hoiw long is "a iwhile." Do you know ivhere you're 
headed? Are you worried? Do you have a goal for when you get out? Or 
a plan for how to do your time? Tell u% more! 


Who Ever Thought 


Who ever thought I would be in jail 

Acting crazy try in' to go dumb in my cell 

Who ever thought it would be me 

Hustlin', shooting guns, committing hella robberies 

Who ever thought my ninja scrilla would die 

By ah ninja who was posed to be on his side 

Who ever thought Davon and JJ would've got popped 

Not me cause I was with 'em on that street block 

Who ever thought I would've been fourteen getting' shot at 

By ninjas 20 and over and they packing them big gats 

Who ever thought I would've got hit 

I don't know but they need to stop snorting that shhh 

What ninjas forgot I'm the baby of the click 

So if you cum my way you gone catch mo den six 

More like 17 rounds of pure hollow tips 

And to tell you the truth bra, I know how to work that shhh 

Who ever thought my cousin Weezy would've got capped 

Now them ninjas is getting laid on they backs 

With big thangs this shhh don't change 

Who ever thought we would lose lil' D 

Fresh out of jail ready to go 

Move mean 

Who ever thought my grandpa would get sick 

Now I'm in the hall mad as shhh 

Who ever thought me and teddy would be in jail 

Now I'm sayin' 

Free me and him in these Alameda County cells 

Who ever thought I would be in this condition 

Lost my pops when I was six 'cause somebody didn't 

like him So they shot him up and shhh 

I damn sure wish I could get ma revenge 

I'm sitting here like damn I miss my family and friends 

Who ever thought? 

-Lil' Al 

From The Beat: Who ever thought you would of came to jail? Who ever 
thought you would've been born? Man, today sk% we sit here in this here 
juvenile, what it comes down to is you've got a couple of choices to 
make, you can keep going down a path that's only gonna lead you to 
jail time and more deaths, or you can choose another path. The choices 
are on you and nobody else. 


Why Am I Here 

I'm in here for doing some stupid shhh. I'm in here 
because I was stupid enough to take a gun to school. 
But I didn't go to school, I was cutting classes with my 

We were smoking a blunt when the 5-0 came and grab 
us. I had the gun on me but I couldn't run because it was 
too big, so he dropped me and arrested my ass and now 
I'm in here serving my time. 


From The Beat: You don't need to be cutting classes and packing straps 
instead. What kind of life are you trying to lead homie? What do you 
think is gonna come out of going to smoke with yo potnas and packing 
straps, instead of going to school. 

M]f Patience Is Short 

I lost patience with myself. When I came in here, I 
couldn't take it. I just didn't understand. My own brother 
didn't have patience so he ratted on me so now I'm in here 
trying to have patience with it. I'm trying to have patience 
with my case, but I'm getting out after my birthday, so I'm 
cool, I'm going to a group home. 

-Baby Joker 

From The Beat: You have to have patience. You had the patience to sit 
there and do what you did to get locked up. So now you have to deal 
with the consequences for your actions. All you can do now is focus on 
your program and try to make things better for yourself. 

agnnnnnE wmwmim 

^mammmmmEm ^^^/^^ 


^' f 

I lose a lot of patience while I'ln in Juvenile Hall. The 
reason being is because time pass by so slow when you're 
sitting in a small room all by yourself doing nothing but 
read, sleep, shhh, and work out. 

Waiting to go home is like watching the grass grow. 
Lost all outdoors and phone call privileges. It's taking 
forever just to get released. No more patience. No more 
patience. No more patience!! 


From The Beat: You have to have patience. You got yourself in this mess, 
now you have to deal with the consequence. Time does go by slow 
but that's only because you're not iceeping yourself busy and all you're 
doing is thinking about getting out. You should try thinking about all 
the things you could do so you can stay out 'cause getting out is the 
esksy part, staying out is the hard part. 


I'm here in my room, just thinking about the old times 
when my uncle. Rest in Peace, was with me. I just sit here 
remembering hella shhh we did. Since my uncle pass 
away everything change, is not the same. I miss my Uncle 
Ruben, I know he resting in a very good place. RIP I miss 
you tio (uncle). 


From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your uncle. We know how 
painful it is to lose a loved one. We hope that you have a lot of great 
memories to reminisce about. You can't rewind time, and think about 
what you could of done, or should of done. But we do hope you could 
be inspired to live your life in a more positive way. 


I'm steal and rob 

I stay going on missions 

It's just my ambitions 

Power of violence 

Never mess with ninjas with no sense 

From the east and yes I am a beast 

I get the scraper on fours 

With the color pearl 

And yes I do love pearl 

'Cause I do rule this world 

It's hard for the kid 

To get back on track 

I'll take yo' female and give her back 

-Go Diego Go 

From The Beat: If you took your talent for words and rhymes/and used 
them on school books, and earning your dimes/(legit we mean) with 
school and a job/no one to beat and no one to rob/you could be more 
than a jailhouse poet, we know you hope it, now it's time to KNOW it, 

Lnsino Patience 


Yo' boy then already lost patience 

I been here ninety-five days I'm tired of waitin' 

Losing patience make a youngsta go crazy 

Losing patience turn a youngsta shady 

I lose patience every single day 

Especially when I don't get my way 

I'm losing patience let yo' boy free 

If you look up lost patience you would find me. 


From The Beat: Nice piece! In general you got a nice flow and nice 
rhymes. And we do feel you. Ninety-five days is a long time to wait, 
especially with more to come. Since you are such a talented writer we 
are going to challenge you a little to see if you can u%e some specific 
images to make your pieces come alive on the page even more, and let 
the people reading your work feel what you're putting out there on a 
whole other level. Good work. 

\ I 

X I 


My Case 


What's up Beat? Me, I've been up in here for like forty- 
days in this new hall. Damn, I got tired of seeing the same 
faces every time. Even the food is getting nasty, way worse 
than the old hall. 

Anyways I just met my new PO on Friday. She told me 
that by this week I should start getting interviews so I will 
be out by a month. Well I'm not ever going to come back 
here. This place sucks. 

-Lil' S 

From The Beat: Everybody always complains about the halls only when 
they're in the halls, but when you're out on the street doing all that hot 
shhh we bet you aint even thinking about the halls. How are you gonna 
be different than the rest of the people that are saying that they 
never coming back. How do you plan to put those words in action? 

Stili Here 


What up with it Beat, is me, Whiteboy. I'm still here in 
this weak place. My PO told me I got to be here for 1 more 
month and then I'ma go to camp for 6-9 months. I'm hella 
mad. But I did the crime, I have to do my time. 

But I also hella sad because I'm in here and my uncle 
died. I also miss my boo thang and my family. 

That's all I have to say, all right then Beat I'm out. 


From The Beat: You said it. You did the crime you do the time. But it 
can't be like that all the time. We're sorry to hear about your Uncle. And 
we feel your pain. We know you miss yo' boo, and your family also. But 
you have to stop committing crimes. You must stay out of trouble so 
you can be out there with your boo and your family. That way you iwon't 
have to be in here writing these kind of pieces. 



My superhero doesn't really exist to other people, but he 
exist to me. He would be black and one of his super powers 
would be to attract all of the ladies. And his swagger would 
be super mean but cool at the same time. He would have 
the power to make money appear in the palm of his hand. 
Not one dollar but hundred dollar bills and a hundred at a 
time. And he would have long dreads and a gold grill. And 
he would be able to fiy and knock people out with one 
punch. This sounds like me in a way. 

- Shady 

From The Beat: We liked hearing about your own superhero. Would this 
be the superhero you could be if you got to be a superhero? What would 
his ethics be? Would he help his community and city to fight people who 
were doing bad things on the real, or would he only punch out people 
who bothered him? Would he be concerned about the greater good or 
would he mostly be attracting the ladies and producing money for his 
own pleasure? 

Losing Patience 

I'm always lose patience when people tell me they are 
going to do something and don't do it when they tell me 
they're going to. 

One time I was at my house and my homie said he 
would be there in a few minutes. And it took him two 
hours. Another time was when my dad was on his way to 
see me and I had to do something that was important. 

When I get impatient I start to get mad. Sometimes 
when I get impatient I want to fight anybody who crosses 
me or looks at me wrong. I just like it when people are on 
time when they tell me a time. But yeah, that's what I got 
to say. All right Beat I'm out. 

-Lil' G 

From The Beat: We all hate it when people %x^ that they're gonna be 
there at a certain time but don't do it. It sucks! But regardless, you can't 
let that get to you. Someone is late they're late. There's nothing you can 
do, or they can already if they're late. So you should just let that little 
drama go. it's not worth fighting over, or catching a case over. 



What Of Fame 

When every one knows your face 

The whole world screams your name 

Never again are you alone 


From The Beat: We can think of times when it would be useful to be 
famous, but other times when being known can get you into trouble. 
Which were you thinking of when you wrote this little piece? 

Ah, To Be A Little Kid Again 


Damn gang bang. What a change from bein' young and 
playin' in the park. Runnin' around in the streets instead 
of running around in the house. Caged up, makin' moms 
cry instead of being young and just cry for job. 

Man, if only we could be a little kid forever. Society 
with little kids is pure joy. 

-Big Bird 

From The Beat: Yes, there is something very special about the purity and 
innocence of little kids. They haven't learned to hate, yet, or to identify 
"enemies." They still see their similarities with other little kids, and 
not their differences. Sometimes, when we're really angry at someone, 
we try to imagine them gks a little kid to remember that we were once 

Focused On Having Fun 


What's up with The Beat? This that ninja Na-Na writing 
about having hella fun with my ninjas and blowing fat 
'dro with some females. 

Man, you know I'm supposed to be up out of here in a 
couple days. I'm about to skate on my PO when I hit that 
airport, ya dig. But yeah, this juvenile shhh been crazy 
since I been in here. But I'm about to be out. I been here 
for six months and it been stressful like hell. 

But yeah, I'm out. 


From The Beat: We're not sure what the beginning of this piece has to 
do with the end of it. You write about having fun with the females, but 
also that you plan to run before you get to your next destination. Since 
wfe know where running leads, we have to wonder whether you really 
prefer to spend your time locked up with other males, if this "juvenile 
shhh" is crazy, that maybe it's time to start thinking and acting like an 

Siiuuld Patience Be A Virtue? 

What's really gutta. Beat? The Skip ninja back live an' 
direct once again givin' more knowledge. But yeah, I 
know patience is a virtue, but it's hard to have patience 
in certain situations. 

I was readin' the topic sheet, and it said how people 
are sick of comin' here. I'ma keep it KI with you. I'm 
obviously not tired of comin' here because I would have 
more patience with myself and not come back. But it's 
really hard though. 

-Lil' Skippa 

From The Beat: You're too good a writer to give us this little bit, 
Skippa. We need more explanation and examples of what you mean. 
For example, what do you mean when you say you would have more 
patience with yourself if you were tired of coming here? Do you think 
you'll ever get tired of it? Until you get tired of coming here, will you 
just keep doing the things that bring you? 

r Waitino Te See ^ 

I What's good Beat? Me up in here once mo', chilling 
I patiently, waiting to see if I getting out. If not I ain't 
tripping. I still goin' keep it moving. 


I From The Beat: Are you doing stny thinking while you wait? if so, are 
you thinking about ways to stay out of places like this? What have you 
come up with? 





I speak the real, not the fake 

I speak to better, never hate 

I love my life and how I live it 

Behind these walls ain't how I'm livin' 

I sit and think of all my wrong mistakes 

You could live the street life if you know and got what it 


I obviously got caught so it ain't for me to sake 

And danger my life when I know I got what it take 

To do right and not wrong 

To stand tall and never fall 

To be strong with all emotions 

And live life without commotion 

Sit back, get money, love, freedom, live life 

Respect who loves you and always keep yo' game tight! 


From The Beat: It^ good that you've figured out that you aren't cut out 
for a life of crime and punishment. Nobody really is cut out for it, but 
many people haven't figured that out, yet. So, respect those who love 
you and respect yourself, and this should be your last experience as a 
guest of the county... 


Missino My Baby 


Damn! I can't stand being in here. I wish I was outta 
this place so I could see my honey bunches of oatmeal. 
I wanna be with her every day. I want her to keep me 
comfort and tell me everything is ok. 

I miss you, Mufieca, and I love you. Don't trip. I'm be 
out this hole so I can see you. Love ya fo'eva. 


From The Beat: We hope that when you get out of this place you hate so 
much, you'll remember what brought you here and stop doing it. That's 
the only way you'll get to be with your love. 

A Prnmise Tu My jirandmntlier 

I been messing up these last months. I been gettin' in a 
lot of trouble. I'm happy because I may be out in two more 
days, but at the same time, I'm sad because I disappointed 
my whole family, 'specially my grandmother. 

She's been telling me to do good, but I don't listen 
to her. But when I get out of here, I'll promise that I'll be 


From The Beat: Why do you think your grandmother has been telling 
you to stop doing the things that have gotten you into trouble? What 
do you think she wants for you? Have you made this promise to "be 
good" before? Why will it be different this time? 


Everyone have problems. That's what going on in this 
world. Now everyone have problems. That's why beefing 
going on now. People set trippin' over what going on at 
their house and the girlfriend problems. 

Like I have problems myself, but I don't go around 
killing people for nothing. I not say I'm all good. I have 
problems, too. I have problems with my family, my friends, 
my girl and everything else. But everything is going to be 
all right if I keep my head up and keep moving ahead with 
my life. Don't let people stop me from doing what I do in 


From The Beat: We wish you had explained, with examples, some of the 
problems you have with family, friends and girls. It^ those examples 
that turn a regular Beat piece into a piece of the week. If you are not 
going to let people stop you from doing what you do in life, what is it 
that you want to do in life? 

mnnnME Mswmmm^4 ^ ^ / s ^ ^ 

//// // 

Losing Patience 

X f 

Patience is very hard to have, especially since you ain't 
used to it. When I go to group home, I can't do it because 
I ain't patient to be there for a amount of long time. 

But this time when I go to a group home I'ma start to 
do more activities to make myself busy and patient to do 
this program. 


From The Beat: Being patient can be a very difficult thing when we're 
doing something we don't iiice doing. But then we have to thinic about 
what comes next, and decide of the consequences of patience are worth 
it. If not, we pay the price of impatience. That's the price you're paying 

Counselors Make Me Lose Patience 

While up in this hole, you have to have patience. But ninjas 
can always lose they patience, like when staff doesn't get 
you out your room on time and you get mad. While in this 
hole, a ninja can be stressing and counselors just get on 
your nerves. Then you loss patience for waiting. 


From The Beat: How do you act when you run out of patience? How do 
the counselors act when they run out of patience? What is the hardest 
thing to be patient about while you're in here? Do you ever lose patience 
lAfith your roommate? Over what? 

Getting Tired 


I feel like I'm running out of time 

I'm so tired of this shhh 

But the only thing that has changed is time 

More lines, different rhymes, but 

Same buUshhh-ass time 

I mean starting to get tired 

Things have kinda changed, I guess I'm a better liar 

Man, shhh got me caught up messin' with the same 


Man, I'm getting tired 


From The Beat: We're all running out of time, so we all have the 
opportunity to u%e the time we have wisely before ours tun% out. If 
you're truly getting tired of giving up a portion of your time (your life) 
to a system that doesn't care about you the way you should care about 
yourself, then what do you plan to do about it? Any changes coming 
your way? 

Losing Patience 

Patience is something I don't have. If I'm ready to go and 
my girls ain't, I'm 'bout to find somethin' else to get into 
'til they ready. But I know I should be the last one talking 
'cause I take foreva and a day to get ready. But anyways, 
my point is I have no patience for slow people. 

-No Patience 

From The Beat: Since you failed to put your name down, we gave you 
a name... Has your impatience ever gotten you into trouble? What do 
you %«^ to people who have no patience for you when you're getting 

Power Witlioot Violence 

I feel that I could have power without violence if I put my 
mind to it like if I would get it into the books then I could 
have a lot more power. 

If I had a super power, I would be invisible so I could 
go to jail just to go to the girl unit and have a lil' fun. 

-Rocket Person 

From The Beat: We combined your two pieces into one because, by 
themselves, neither was really long enough to publish. Next time, 
choose just one topic and write u% a whole page about it, not just one 
or two sentences. If you know that there is power in books, then why 
haven't you "put your mind to it?" 

I I 

* I 

! I 


Getting Out And Clianging 


What's up with The Beat? This be Creeper saying that I 
might be getting out on 5/19/08. Instead of going to the 
negativity, I'ma be going straight to the positive. 

I got me a job and I hope I can get another one working 
at The Beat. So what's up. Beat? Hook me up. 

But yeah, like I was saying, I'm ready to get out and 
make a positive change in my life. For all those kids 
locked up, keep ya head up. 


From The Beat: Congratulations! When you get out, come and see u%. 
And don't forget how easy it is to slip back into old habits, and then 
have to face old consequences. Just keep your promise to stay positive, 
and you'll be fine. 

Is Vinlence Necessary? 

Reporting live to SF County. . . 

What's good with The Beat? Huh, Whodays and 
Whodettes. This the Skip ninja broadcastin' live and 
direct to give some knowledge to your square-ass square 
butts, know what I'm talkin' 'bout? 

But to the subject... Most of us find ourselves where 
we want the three things that matter most in life: money, 
power, respect. But mainly, power. 

A lot of people will do or use whatever's necessary to 
get that power. Sadly, that includes violence. But violence 
is not always the answer, and can lead to a lot of fatalities 
and casualties, and a lot of mamas and babies cryin'. 

Now, I don't want to be a hypocrite because I used 
violence. But it wasn't for power. I have a personal power, 
and that is through my lyrics. I can get my power through 

-Lir Skippa, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We're not sure we agree with you about the three most 
important things in life (we would put love ahead of all three), but we 
admire hoiv you've ivritten this. The only thing iwe wish is that you 
had given u% some examples of the power you get through your lyrics. 
Next time. 

Super Hero 

If I had super power, I wish I was invisible for when I do 
some thing I can be invisible. It be some hard situations 
out here that I don't want to be in, but it be like that 
sometimes. But when you going through tough times, 
you don't wont to be there 'cause sometimes people be 
there at the wrong place at the wrong time. 

-Lil' Cali 

From The Beat: What turns this writing into a piece of the week or 
a co-piece is the examples and details in it. For example, you should 
have told u% of a particular time and situation where you wish you had 
been invisible because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. 
Examples make what you write much clearer for the reader. 

Patience Is A Virtue 

Patience is a virtue that I don't have 

Which made my mom and fam sad 

It's not like I intentionally did bad 

I was mad and really needed cash 

Didn't have the patience to wait for a check 

Or to let a ninja try to ring my neck 

So I rocketed threw his 'jets to save my life 

Some say I ain't nice 

But all I do is for the sake of my life 

From The Beat: Is it iworth making your mom and family sad/ 
because you are skn impatient lad?/ You say you did it for your 
sake/ But are you being real or are you being fake?/ Is it worth it to 
yourself locked in jails/ And to socialize only with other males? 






//// // 


Learning Patience 

Learning patience can be hard if you're not in the right 
environment. While places at home and with friends you 
basically do what you want when you want so you don't 
learn patience. 

When you're locked up you learn patience by sitting 
in your room waiting for food, or a visit, or school. The 
point is you're in your room more then three quarters 
of the day so patience is a must. When I learned to have 
patience I don't get mad or frustrated easily. 


From The Beat: It^ hard to learn how to be patient, but sometimes 
wfe have to learn the hard v/sky. This is something that you can use 
throughout your life, though, something that can only benefit you. 
Patience is a virtue and ufe're glad you learned it. 

a I I I III 1^ 


Lnslng My Damn Patience 

I am losing my patience with the court. 
I've been here for over several weeks 
they gave me five court dates already. 
Every time I go to court they just give me another court y 


Next time to go to court they better let me out 

or sentence me finally. 


From The Beat: We understand that the court system can work slowly. 
You have to be patient 'cause after all you were the one that put yourself 
in this position. So be patient and it will all play out. You are not doing 
time for nothing because your time is being counted even though you 
are not sentenced, yet. So be chill 'cause now the situation is out of 
your hands, but that doesn't mean that you have to make it worse on 

I I I I I !■ 

I I I I 

Tired Of The Hall 

I ran out of patience in staying in the hall. It's my first 
time in the hall and I can't take it. I 'm wasting my life 
when I'm in here. 

How I express myself when I lose my patience in here 
is I usually read a book. And since I been in here I read 
four books. And those four books where the only four 
books I read just to kill time in my life. 

I think my family hasn't lost patience with me because 
they care about me a lot and they said they'll wait for me 
when I get out and celebrate my belated birthday. 

- Book Reader 

From The Beat: We completely agree with you. The way you deal with 
your frustration is really great too. We hope you continue with that 
habit once you leave this place. You're luclcy to have a family that is 
sticking by you. Let us know how your birthday celebration goes, 

Messing Up 



Back then about two years ago I lived with my dad. I was 
doing great in school, great in football and had a great 
girlfriend. Then I started to mess up like hanging around 
with the wrong kids and started doing drugs. 

My dad finally got sick of me doing these things and 
kicked me out. I moved back to Antioch with my mom 
and things just got worse, so I left my mom's house and 
came back to San Jose. I started off with doing drugs and 
robbing people. 

Finally my actions finally caught up with me when 
I started doing more and more crimes. Now I have four 
felonies, stuck between four walls, a toilet bowl and a 


From The Beat: It seems like your life just took a wrong turn. Now that 
your actions have caught up with you, how do you plan on getting the 
life you want back? Spend this time thinking, reflecting and planning. 
It's clear from what you wrote that you're a bright and thoughtful 
individual. Use it! 


Standing Tall 


Baby I'm locked up behind these white walls 

I'm trying to maintain, I was taught to stand tall 

They can lock my body away but my soul will never fall 

Baby I know you're locked up too 

I thank God every day because you fell in love with a foo' 

I want to say that I love you, forever you will be in my 


Without you my love, my soul will be lost in the dark 

Baby I stay strong and proud every day 

'Cause you're my wife all the way 

No matter what others say, they can lock us away 

But we are one all the way 

Baby it's just you and me 

Together we are one perfect harmony 

Don't you see you're the one for me 

I love you forever, my angel baby 


From the Beat: How wonderful that you have someone you love this 
much and who loves you back. We love the line, 'They can lock my body 
away but my soul will never fall." Nothing about being locked up could 
be more true! Keep on writing and thinking about how you should live 
I a free life! I 


ff>ta//if mif actions pnallif 
caught Mp with me when I 
started doing mote and more 
crimes, i 

A Fanlty Mistake ^ 

What's up Beat. Just wanna say that I'm stuck behind 
these walls 'cause of my own faulty mistakes, feel me 
Beat. And as a young man I take full responsibility of my 
actions, and suffer my consequences. Well Beat I'm going 
to go day by day with my time and I'm gone Beat. Catch 
you later, lates. I 

- Anthony | 

From The Beat: We're proud of how mature your piece is. It takes a big 
person to take responsibility for their actions. Learn from your mistakes 
and you will only become a better and better person. 

Lil' Eirl 


I've known 

This girl for a while 

Yea we've been friends 

But it seems I gots this love for yeah... 

And I don't know where it ends 

I want to be more than friends 

But I just can't explain 

It's like every day I think 'bout yah 

And it just don't go away 

I've let you know what's up 

On more than one occasion 

I'll be the best you ever had 

Your time I won't be was tin' 

Let me know yes or no 

Well lil' girl I got to go 


From The Beat: Many of u% can completely relate with you on this one J@ 
keup! We've all has friends that have developed into more than friends. 
We hope this works out for you! 


//// // 

Out Of Patience 

I run out of patience in court because people talking 
about me like I'm a monster. Or like I'm a killer. And I 
am getting impatient in certain situations, like being told 
what to do. 

-Jo Baby 

From The Beat: This is really too short for The Beat, and we won't publish 
any more 3-sentences pieces. You could add many more details, like why 
they describe you as a monster in court, and why that doesn't truly 
describe who you are. Or, what you plan to do about your impatience. 
Don't be lazy. Next time write a full page! 

Checkino Out The Colleoe Talk 

What's good with The Beat? A ninja like me I'm chillin' 
expectin' the worst and hopin' the best. They talkin' 'bout 
sendin' a ninja to the Ranch, and I ain't feelin' it. But I 
just missed the wifey birthday, but I got to tell her happy 
birthday and shhh. 

I go to court in June, so I been on my grizzy doin' good 
in the unit so I can get a few lettas of recommendation so 
I can get a better chance of goin' to the house so I can 
hold it down with my treal fam and my Dunny street fam. 
Y'all pro'ly don't know what street tiiat is 'cause I just 
made it up 'cause I can't put the real name. But so far in 
'08, 1 only lost my lil' cousin. 

I love my dunnies. I told all my ninjas stay coo' on the 
block so all my dunnies just be modulatin' , and if y'all 
ain't willin' to tell y'all ninjas or do somethin' like that, 
y'all ain't true to y'all self. 

But when I touchback down, I gotta go see what this 
lil' college talkin' 'bout with this football shhh, get a job 
and handle my business. I really gotta just keep myself 
busy or I'ma be up in county or some shhh. But I gotta be 
ready to do new shhh. I ain't gone keep doin' this locked 
up shhh. I got too many people that love me. 

But, umm, I'm out. Ya heard me. 


From The Beat: We wish you'd write an entire piece that looks only at 
the subjects in your last paragraph. Are you looking at colleges that 
you might be able to attend and play football? How do you plan to keep 
yourself busy? What is the new "shhh" you're planning to do to stop 
getting locked up? Or, put another way, what's the old "shhh" you used 
to do that you're planning to stop? 

Shut Gun 


stay out the way of gun firing. Stay out of the streets and 
listen to your momma for whatever she tells you. I was 
not listening to my mom. She told me to go to school. I 
didn't go and I got shot in the leg. I was still not listening 
to her and I got locked up. 


From The Beat: What will it take for you to listen to someone who has 
a lot more experience in life than you, and who wants only the best for 
you? You can recover from your leg wound, and you can get out of here. 
But there are some consequences that last forever. Don't wait for those 
before you make a change. 

Gontrollini My liger 


One time I lost my patience is when this therapist was 
askin' me hella questions. I started to get mad and I lost 
my patience. I wanted to punch him, but I didn't want to 
get DRB, so I didn't do anything. Instead, I took a couple 
deep breaths and calmed down 


From The Beat: One thing this proves is that you are capable of 
controlling your temper when you have to. That^ a skill that should 
serve you well when you're back on the outs. What was the therapist 
asking you that made you so angry? 

* I 


Brother Frum Auuther 


Ey, what's up with The Beat like dawg? You know a 

ninja like me laid back, chillin'. In the max, ya heard. 

But anyway, yo: 

I show too much love fo' you ninjas to be haters 

And I ain't home all day 'cause I am getting my paper 

Plus, I know what's goin' on 'cause I am the creator 

And since I am so early, I holler at 'em later 

I sound like sex comin' through the fader 

Snitch I am the president, not the mayor 

Oh, I forgot, me and my ninja is like brothers from 


We from the same 'hood, we're blank blank... betta ask 

your mother 

Ahhh, yeah, mayne, that's how I am 

Y'all know how I'm rockin' 

If ya don't, ya betta Google me, dawg 

Naw, but check this out all my real ninjas 

This time ain't shhh 

Bra bras knock this out 

It's just a mind thang, ya dig 

Get out and do it bigger and better 

Ya feeeeel me? This shhh 

Just a minor to major set back 

But while you in here, get cha mind right 

And elevate like escalators 


From The Beat: There are a lot of clever rhymes in this poem, but we're 
not sure what they all add up to. What do you mean when you advise 
your friends to "get out and do it bigger and better?" If the "it" is the 
same as what got you here, then "bigger and better" only leads to 
bigger and better jails. But if you men something different, can yo spell 
that out for us7 

Cii't Wait 



What's good with you. Beat? Me, chillin', doin' time, 
waitin' to go home. It's just that time is going by hella 
slow. I'm tired of this place. Same thing, different day. 

When that day comes, I'm 'bout to get juiced like 

I really don't have much to say, but I'm going to write 
down the same stuff I always write, which is when I get 
out I'ma do it big, kick it with my ninjas, family, and make 
love to my girl all day, every day. Yup! Eat hella good 
'cause this food is bullshhh. 

Can't wait 'til I get to wear my own clothes, etc. So 
yeah, I'll write to The Beat soon. Late. 


From The Beat: If you're going to write the stuff you always write, then 
we're going to reply with the same reply we always write — which is 
that sometimes you have to make real choices in life, 'cause if you keep 
going back to doing the same Id things, you can expect to face the same 
old consequences. 

Waitiug Tu Find Out 

Man I'm losing patience like hell. I've been sittin' here for 
eight months... Just sitting. Not even fighting my case! 
Just sittin', waitin' to see it I'ma lose my 707 or not. 

I ain't even gone lie. I'm not feelin' it tonight 'cause I 
got hella on my mind. Tomorrow my big day to find out if 
I'ma win or lose. But I'm out for tonight. Y'all ninjas stay 
mashed potato smooth, ya dig. 


From The Beat: Well, you've been waiting a long time, and we hope it 
turns out the way you want it to. We'd love for you to write us a piece 
about what it means to be an adult (or not). In other words, we're sure 
you want to be treated like an adult in some situations, but not in this 
one. What's that like? (We're keeping good thoughts for your 707.) 


.-/rA/v#>^v mffwmmmj! ^/^/.^^ff 

fjffff // 


Yeah, this Stephan livin' this maxed life out, feel me? Fm 
just trying to do my thing and not get stressed out or be 
impatient. Waitin' to get transferred. 

Yeah, my little cousin got hit up, so I hope he get 
better soon, feel me. He gone be smooth, though. So ka- 
boom, knock this shhh out. 

Yeah, and all in here keep your head up and do this 


From The Beat: We're sorry about your lil' cousin, and hope that he 
comes out of it all right. If you feel impatient in here, what are your 
plans for when you get out of here so that you won't have to come back 
and be impatient again? 

RIP Do]ah 

I was gone for a while but now I'm back again 

Remeniscin' on the day when God took my friend 

I try blockin' it out; it comes back again 

I can't get it out; it's like it's stuck in my head 

Not a day goes by that you ain't on my mind 

I'll think about you every day until the end of time 

I always wonder why did you have to go 

It seems like just yesterday we was on the road 

We used to smoke that 'dro 

We used to chill like bros 

And now I'm posted on the block thinking about my 

ninja Doj 

We miss you, Doja 

-Treo L 

From The Beat: Another tragic memory of untimely death on these 
streets! You say that God tooic your friend, but we have to asic whether 
you thinic it's all in God's hands, or whether, by the way a person lives, 
he contributes to the chances he will live a long or short life. We thinic 
God^ plan is for us to live into our 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond. We thinic 
it's the ungodly choices that people make that interfere with His plan. 
What do you think? 

I'm Bored 

I can't do anything in here but sit and read! I wish 
Spiderman or Superman would bust me out and buy me 
food... Steal me a car so I can drive to Las Vegas and party 
my ass off. I don't give a damn what happens! Naw, just 

I ain't trippin' 'bout being in here 'cause I know I got 
someone waitin' on me while I'm in here. It's been seven 
months (10/07/07)! Ups and downs, but it's cool. We love 
each other, and that's that. 

And I love my mom, too, 'cause she put up with my 
shhh. Mom's the best. 

-Chinese Kid 

From The Beat: Well, if your moms the best, why do you keep giving her 
shhh that she has to "put up with?" Why not start giving her what she 
%ee% when she looks at you — a mature, responsible and loving son who 
can accomplish whatever he sets his mind to. (Get out of here and then 
visit Vegas if you want, but don't wait for Spiderman or Superman to 
free you. That's up to you!) 

Laid Out Two 


I'm in here on a buUshhh-ass case 'Cause I laid two 

ninjas out. I rest my case. 

Both ninjas was drunk. 

Thought I was punk. 

So I laid 'em out like a stanking skunk 

Left them in a puddle of tears. 

To drown in the shhh of fears. 

Don't play, betta ask about me. 

Or I'll have you on your knees. 


From The Beat: Visk% laying out these two drunks worth the price you're 
paying for it? If you had just walked away, what would you be doing 
right now instead of wearing the next boy's drawe's and talcing orders 

I from strangers? (We had to change your last line sk% not appropriate for 

I The Beat.) 


Positive Motivatiofl 

What's up. Beat? This your girl Angel. I only got 40 more 
days of lock-up time. Hopefully, they let me go home and 
not to a group home. If I go home, even when I get out, I got 
to keep God on my side so I won't mess up. I got to stay 
motivated. Just like how I was motivated to do negative 
things, I got to be motivated to do positive things. 

My quote: Keep your head to the sky, but not in the 
clouds. If you do, clouds are really just water. You'll 


From The Beat: If you keep on God% side, then He will keep on yours. We 
hope you get to go home and not a group home, too, but whichever it is, 
it will still be up to you to stop doing those things that lead you here, 
lock up. That should be all the positive motivation you need. 



Flower, well losing patience 

Is what sleeps in your mind 

And the way we act and the flower choices we take 

When we on the block 

Doing what we do, even though people talk 

What stays in our mind is whatever they say is a tool. 

But makes us feel like a fool 

We all in one piece. 

But when we let go of our patience, we better behave 

Because the system is digging our grave 

I'm only a youngster following my dreams 

Much love to the homies 


From The Beat: We don't really understand this poem. Shadow. The 
system may be digging your grave, but you're giving them the shovel 
to dig with. What are your dreams, and how do you plan to achieve 

Losiog Patioflce 

What's good. Beat? Yeah, I dig this topic, Man. 

I been sitting in this camp for a year, and it feel like 
hella longer than that, fo' real. I'm tired of this shhh, seeing 
hella of the same ninjas coming back for bullshhh. 

I be stressing like hell in my box (my room). The crazy 
thang is they're trying to give ya boy a lot more of them 
thangs, and hella ninjas hope I do get played! 

Until we meet again, A.N.T.O. gone fast! 


From The Beat: What do you mean when you write that people come 
here for bs? Do you mean there should be different (or no) consequences 
for that bs they do, or that they shouldn't be doing the bs in the first 
place? Are you here for bs? If you don't get played, if you things turn 
out the way you hope, what do you plan to do differently so you don't 
have to experience this again? 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 


What up Beat? Well, as the days are getting hotter and 
summer time around the corner, I think about how I'm in 
here. Just reminiscing about all the good times. Chilling 
in the 'hood with the homeboys; all them late night 
barbeques; drinking nothing but the best Coronas; all 
them females coming through. 

Yup, it sucks that I'll be locked up for this one and 
most probably next one too. But I ain't even trippin' 
because if I had a chance to go back in time, I would do it 
all over again. 

It's priceless, and not even all the money in the world 
can buy this. 


From The Beat: So, you really don't care about being locked up? If you'd 
go back and do the same all over again, you're also saying you'd expect 
the same consequences. So yo must like it here! Is being here what's 
priceless? Actually, there is a price for being here, and you're paying it. 

Gonna Miss Ly 

This goes out to my homie Ly who is leaving county 
tomorrow. I'm gonna miss my homie. Me and that boy had 
some good-ass times here, some great laughs. 

I met him like eight months ago. We grew strong, just 
like brothers. I'll be back with him in about a month. I'll 
also be in county eating kim chi noodles with my boy. I'm 
going to miss him until I see him in a couple days. 

Much love and respect. His boy, 


From The Beat: Well, since we know where Ly is going, we're sorry that 
you're going to join him there. But, at the same time, we think you've 
chosen a very strong, very smart and very decent friend. We hope the 
two of you can keep each other strong and have each others backs. 

Tiie Cannaliis Card Pian 


Gnino In Circies 


I'm losing patience in these streets. I'm on the verge 
of losing my mind. Every day so much hatred in this 
world and hardly any love. People being raised in these 
streets nowadays called war zones falling knee deep in 
the game. 

In and out the system got us going in circles. So many 
fellow carnales behind bars on my way to prison. 

Added one more to this system that's corrupt. 

Now I'm heading to the place that these streets trained 
us to be. No more fun and games in these prison fields 
where only the strong survive. 


From The Beat: If you're going in circles, you have to find a way to step 
off. Even if these streets did train you for this corrupt system, it's now 
up to you to train yourself to move along a different path. Use the time 
you have, wherever you have it, to get sk% much knowledge under your 
belt sk% you can so that you don't have to come back to places like this. 




So now I'm walking towards the door 

I show you how I feel 

This place ain't a waste 

Pacing myself with another face 

It's prison 


From The Beat: 350 years ago, the British poet Richard Lovelace wrote: 
"Stone walls do not a prison make,/ Nor iron bars a cage;/ Minds 
innocent and quiet take/ That for skn hermitage;/ If I have freedom in 
my love,/ And in my soul am free,/ Angels along that soar above/ Enjoy 
such liberty." What do you think he meant? 


For Better Or For Worse, This Life 

Chilling by myself 

waiting for the good days, 

but I don't think they're coming soon. 

I got savage ways. 

I miss chilling in the 'hood 

with all the violence and cops, 

but tired of losing my people 

by the glocks and crack rocks. 

I'm the most feared creature, 

people don't want to see me alone 

roaming the worldwide streets 

this is the place that gets me so full of rage. 

I got worse and worse in this concrete cage 

if this life wasn't meant for me then I'll leave it, 

but if it's for me to get worse in this life then so be it. 


-Young Goofy 

From The Beat: Living this life full of violence and savage ivay is what 
can take you down for the rest of your life. Life is not a joke neither 
a game. Be careful when playing with fire, you might burn yourself. 
Whether you continue living the life you are living is your choice, but 
get ready to face consequences. 

So, I'm going to get out of juvie and still be on probation. 
That means I'm going to get bottled (drug-tested) J I 
randomly. Not really tripping about the testing 'cause I'm ' | 
not addicted and will pass every test. 

But I'm wondering if I get my cannabis card when I 
get out, will I be able to indulge in smoking marijuana? 
Is it up to my PO? I'm going to be 18 when I get out, so 
technically I have the right. Right? Does any one have an 
answer? Help me out. Beat? Peace and chicken grease. 

-Fattie Whompus 

From The Beat: Hmmm, Cannabis Club cards aren't just for people who 
like to smoke weed. They are really for people who have illnesses that 
cannabis can help with, like AIDS or cancer ... they help these patients 
eat because the THC makes people hungry. What illness do you have? 

I'd Lii(e To Fiy 

If. , 

lUt I 


If I could have a super power I would have the power to 
fly. I would fly away to just get away from problems in life, 
an try to enjoy wherever I fly to, like Florida or somewhere 
out of the state. Just so I get away from everybody and 
just have time to think for myself, think about my life and 
what I 'bout to do with my life. Life is fast. It will be over 
before you know it. 


From The Beat: It would be wonderful if we could just fly away from our 
problems, or fly to a peaceful place where we had time to think. Some ■ 
people can do this in their minds. How about you? I 

I Had A Good Sool 

I was really going for the right road, but every time I get 
on the right path, something gotta bring me back to being 
a bad person. I want to do good, I try, but I always seem 
to fail. 

I hate to see things turn on me like a backstabber 
once they are there, smiling to your face and then next 
thing they're laughing behind your back. It's like they 
want you to do bad. I don't know. 

Just please, do me yourself a favor, never trust no 
one, because betrayal will burn and hurt like a hot slug 


From The Beat: How are going to expect things to go your way if you 
are still messing ivith negative things that bring you back in here? How 
do we know whom to trust or not? Who do you trust? If we were you, we 
would trip over your situation and ignore what others do or %«y. 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

I'm Leaving Soon 

X f 

What's up with everybody ? This ya boy Yung Tone from 
East Palo Alto, at it again. They got your boy up in this 
boot security unit again. 

I just got up in here last night from another unit. Is 
nothing though. I'm holding shhh down like dipper. I'm 
glad I ain't gotta put up with this for too long. 

I'll be out next week from doing 15 months. I gotta 
keep it a-huh-nit. 

Damn, I don't think I've ever written about any of 
The Beat topics. Have any of ya'll ever wish or thought 
of having any type of super power? I know I should have 
never thought of something like that. Now that I come 
to think about it, I wish I could make people forget shhh 
completely. Ya'll ever seen that movie Men In Black? 
Yeah, just like them ninjas all right, I'm up. 

-Yung Tone 

From The Beat: It^ been a long time! How do you feel about it? What 
are your plans? Are you going to stay out this time or are you coming? 
1 5 months is a long time in the system, if we were you, we would do 
whatever is possible to enjoy the rest of your life. One more thing, why 
would you want people to forget things? 


Females are the best people in my life 

If I had just one she'd be my wife 

When I'm doing wrong they start snitching 

That's why I keep them cleaning my kitchen 

But that's why they're always complaining 

I love the way they are, so smooth so cool 

When I'm acting a fool 

That's why I'm so cruel. 

- Legit 

From The Beat: it's seems like the one complaining is you. it's cool to 
appreciate woman. We can understand you being attracted to them, but 
keep in mind that you CANT have them all. T^y not to generalize. They 
are not all the same. They should be treated with respect. 

Handlino Bosiness 


What's up Beat, well I'm going on my last months. I 
finally got a interview for a placement between Visalia and 

I've been locked up to long to be messing around in 
here. I grew up a lot in here because I had a lot of time to 
think and before I came in here I really didn't care. 

But I now I got to be smarter of what I do. I have nine 
months if I do good. So that's what I'm trying to do when 
I get out. I have a lot of plans but I've noticed you could 
never depend on no one and stay handling your own 


From The Beat: The handling business part is what you should always 
be doing. There's not that many people that you can depend on in life 
period. You can count on u% if you need anything. But also like you said 
you have to handle your own because nobody is gonna do it for you. 
We're glad to see you mature and grow up. We hope that you can keep 
up the motivation and stay positive. 


What's up Beat! Today's topic is about super hero. The 
super hero that I would like to be is the Hulk, because 
he's big and strong. 

If I had his power, I would break these brick walls and 
get out of here. Until next time late. 


From The Beat: He is really strong! You don't need super powers to get 
out of here. You know the best and proper way out of here. You can 
have that for sure. Get busy and u%e your mind! 

Losing Patient 


What I have lost patience about is every time I go to court 
they try to put me into a program. I have to wait to see if 
I get accepted, so they make me go to court then they try 
to send me to another program and I have to wait to go to 
court again so now I have to go to court again in a couple 
of weeks to see if I get accepted or not. 


From The Beat: The court process is especially slow, isn't it? How do you 
not lose your patience? Do other people in here have advice, since you 
are all going through the same process? 

Wliat I \m\ About Prison 

Hey what up? It's Smokey chilling in the m£ix. I want to 
talk about prison. Prison is not that bad, people make it 
sound worse than it is. 

I also wanted to say that juvenile halls has been really 
boring lately, I hope I get out soon and I also hope I never 
come back. 


From The Beat: Yesterday we received a letter from Beat writer who was 
in juvenile hall and now he is in prison. Noiv that he is living the reality 
of what prison is, he has found out that things were nothing compared 
sk% he anticipated. Now it's too later for him. He^ there and he has to 
deal with the REALITY of what prison sk% a lifer is. You should inform 
yourself better before saying something you haven't experience. Use 
your intelligence!! 

Tiie End 

rm I 


Q-Vole Beat. 

I feel like the end is very near. 

I hope this feeling will soon disappear 

because the life I live in calls it fear. 

Can't even walk these halls without being clear. 

If only I could hear the judge saying "released". 

I know it would bring tears to my mom's eyes, 

of joy and fear. 


From The Beat: By 'the end' do you mean the end of incarceration? We 
hope that% what you mean. The other 'end' you can put off for eighty 
years , or so, with some luck and good health. Your fear will go away 
when you start living your life more consciously. Here^ a way to start. 
Make up your mind to do five kind things each and every day. Something 
sk% simple sk% a heartfelt compliment to stnyone, a staff member, another 
girl on the unit, someone serving you a meal in the cafeteria. Do five 
simple, kind things each day and you will then start being kinder to 
yourself. Then, your life will really start changing for the better. 

Loosino Patience 

Q-vole Beat? Well this is Stomper writing in this Beat 
again to write on this topic, about losing patience. Well 
there are a lot of times I can lose my patience with 

When I always lose my patience is when someone 
tries to talk down or talk hella shhh. I just lose it 'cause 
I know if I were talking like that, the other person would 
lose his patience and want to do some thing like that 

Well anyways long story short. I hate when people talk 
shhh and don't think I'm not gonna do anything about it 
because I will! 

Well I guess this is it for now, and to all keep your 
heads up, with much respect. 


From The Beat: This is a big issue for you! You are letting your ego 
hurt you. If we were you, we would try to ignore what they say or do. 
Is there a way you can calm it down. If so, you should either ignore 
it or find a way to calm it down. Get in touch with yourself, before it 
becomes too late. 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

Losing Patience 

X f 

There are some times when I lose my patience. One 
of those times is when I get in a fight my mom. I just 
lose it and start hitting stuff like the walls and also start 
throwing things around until some point I just go for a 
walk to cool down. 

Some times when I get mad with my girlfriend. When 
I get mad at her, I just walk away from her. Next thing, she 
is calling me and I don't answer her calls because that's 
the only way to cool down. Once I cool down, I call her 
back. Well that's all for now Beat. 


From The Beat: Maybe you should take the walk first before hitting 
walls and throwing things around. There are other ways to deal with 
anger and you know what you need to do in order to get rid of it. You 
just need to put it in practice before acting like a fool. No disrespect! 

I Lose Patience 

Things make me lose patience 

People make me lose patience 

I make myself lose patience... 

All people don't have patience. 

But I do 

I smoke, I don't do drugs, 

I do girls... 

I don't drink, 

I lose stress. 

When I don't lose stress, I lose patience. 

-Young Tito 

From The Beat: How you get it back? is by losing patience the reason 
you end up in here? 

Super Hero Spiderman 

Spiderman is the best super hero. He shoots web, he 
climbs walls and he's hella strong. I would want his 
powers because you could pull all the girls. 

-Super player 

From The Beat: That^ right! Thanks for your thoughts! Would you fight 
against violence and unfairness like he does too? 

What's Gnnd? 

A man what's good? This be Sergio. 

Man this sucks, man it's hella bootsy. Man I'm getting 
tired of getting kicked out of school and shhh. Then I'm 
going to these weak community schools like Ridgemont, 
Foothill, Foundry and all these other ones man. 

I ain't trying to be no bum like some of these ninjas 
I know asking other people for money, and other stuff 
'cause they don't get they ass up and make something for 
they self. 

I mean I don't get it. I rather go to school and go to 
work than be bumming off of the other broke ass ninjas 
who think they slang deep. The people who think they 
slang deep is the ones who always get caught up, now 
why is that? Remember every dog has its day. I'm talking 
some real shhh. 

Then you seeing these dudes writing in The Beat 
about shhh that never happen. Man they remind me of a 


From The Beat: The best thing you can is just worry about yourself. 
There^ nothing ivrong ivith giving out some friendly advice that will 
help some other people. But you can't sit there and trip off of them. 
You have to focus on you and do you only. 'Cause that's what this life 
is all about you. You need to focus on your program and trying to stay 
out of trouble. 

i I 

Fiying Powers 


What's up Beat! This is that g about to write about this 
whack topic. Well here it is. Well if I was a super hero and 
I could have a power, I would like to have flying powers, 
so I could get away from the 5-0 hella quick. Well then 
Beaters, late. 


From The Beat: Would you u%e that power for other purpose that can 
help others! Don't be selfish! 

Key Tn Love 

Love is complicated. 

Love is a wonderful feeling. 

Love is being loyal. 

Love is having trust. 

The key to love is holding on, 

and to never let go. 

Times can be fun, 

and times can be rough, 

don't get carried away. 

Stay tough. 

Love is relationship, 

Love is life. 

- Ju Ju 

From The Beat: Hmmm, you are very right, love is life, but much beyond 
boy/girl drama ... it is really about loving yourself enough to love 

Power Witliout Violeoce 

What's good I am Marcel, from East Palo Alto. I'm locked 
up hella bored and can't wait to get out. 

You can better yourself by going to school, being 
successful in life and getting a good job. Martin L. King is 
a good example. 


From The Beat: Thank you for your example and advice. We hope you 
take advantage of it sk% well. 

Losino Patience Witii Tiie System 

I feel like I'm losing patience for my PO because I keep 
sending requests and he never comes and sees me. I just 
want to ask him if it's ok to get OTs to go out and see my 
baby be born, that's all I want to ask him! But yeah, that's 
what I'm losing patience about. 

- Oso 

From The Beat: It seems like being locked up in the hall is all about 
losing your patience, and skn M.I.A. PO can really be annoying. Why 
don't you try talking to the unit supervisor to help you out, or your 
lawyer? But keep trying and keep cool. 

I Want To Love You 

-Young Goofy 

From The Beat: Sorry Young Goofy, but we weren't able to publish your 
writing. Next time, we encourage you to find a different method to 
send your message, and next time do it on your time, not ours! 

Wislifui Powers 


If I had some super powers, 

I'd walk their walls because I'd probably dip down to 
girls units or cut out during night time, and be back in 
the morning. 

So yeah, I'll be doing my time, but still be free. 


From The Beat: Very creative! So you leave the hall with your wishful 
powers, yet you return in the morning and no one knows, we hope? 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

Young Women Talking 


Nessa: What's up sucka? 

Cassy: Nothin, chilling 

Nessa: Wow, hella boring. Guess what? 

Cassy: What's up, Nes? 

Nessa: Chicken butt. I wanna go home, Cinco-de-Mayo 

just passed and I bet it was hella crackin. 

Cassy: I know man, I get out in a hundred and something 

days, what about you? 

Nessa: Like two-hundred and something! Ha. It's good 

though. The only thing I'm tripping off of is that Ranch 

list, they be taking hella days to come swoop a ninja! 

Cassy: So Nes, you know you're my girl right, well what 

are you gonna do when you get out the Ranch? You better 

do good. 

Nessa: It took me awhile to get my head straight, but I'm 

actually tryna do something with myself for the better, 

and I want you to be there doing good with me. My lady 

too I love hecka much and I want the best for her. 

Cassy: Aww I knew you loved her, well do you think that 

we're gonna chill? We better so we can do it, live, but in a 

good way, I love my lady too so I got to go. 

Nessa: You big simp. It's up to you if you tryna chill, but 

I'm hella juiced, I get to call my lady tomorrow. Well you're 

my lil ninja, be good! LATE 

Cassy: Aww well the staff is trippin so I got to go. Late. 

-Lir Nessa and Li'l One 

From The Beat: Thanks for the "slice of life" dialogue. 

me i 

Mother's Day 

What it do. Beat!? 

What makes my mom special is that she still loves me 
even though I made a big mistake. I just hope I get out on 
my next court date to be home with her. 


From The Beat: Moms are often like that ... which is no excuse for taking 
them for granted. Do good and you won't have to put your mom through 
such a difficult time. Give her a break. Give yourself a break. 

Losing Patience In Here 

What's up Beat! I am losing patience, just waiting here 
to go to the Ranch. I have to wait at least another two 
to three months to go do six to eight months. Well, it's 
nothing. I just got out the Ranch an am going to James 
this time. I might get out by next year when I am 18. Well 
Beat, I will have more patience when I get out. Stay up. 

-Turtle Loco 

From The Beat: The waiting game is especially hard, but what is patience 
and where does it come from? Have you ever %een those old kung fu 
movies where the %en%9\ teaches the student to have patience by doing 
tedious things, and that helps their minds become stronger? You should 
see this time sk% that and expand yourself. 

iDsini Patience: 


I've lost my patience many times in my life, but today I'm 
not going to be talking about myself. My mom has to lose 
a lot of patience on me, because I've been in and out for 
the past three years. 

This is my sixth time in J-Hall, and I think that's why 
my mom has lost patience in me. I know she still loves 
me, but right now she is just showing tough love but it's 
all good. I'll prove myself once I get out of this place. 
That's what I got to say about losing patience. 

-Asian Dude 

From The Beat: Yes, six times is quite a lot. We can see how your parents 
might start to change their ways of dealing with you. It sounds like you 
too may have lost a little patience with yourself. 

Mnthers Day 


My mom is my best friend. 

She's always there for me every time I fall. 

She's there to pick me up. 

She's beautiful. 

She's a nurse and very nice. 

She's young and looks hella good for her age. 

For Mothers' Day I made her some ceramic gifts, a card 

and a blanket. 

The blanket isn't done but the pillow is. 

Some times I regret everything I've done to my mom, 

but if I hadn't I would've learn from nothing. 

I think as days go by she's not getting any younger 

so the bond we have needs to get stronger. 

When I get out she has high hopes for me 

to go to San Jose State University and become a lawyer. 

I can be argumentive at times, and I love debating. 
Since I was young people always said that I would be a lawyer, 
so I'm gonna follow my dream and make my loved ones 


Well - enough now Beat. It's time to go. Peace in the 

middle east. 


From The Beat: Get a jump start by reading your head off. Read 
everything - history, novels, e%%xy%, newspapers, poetry. And do well 
in school. High grades could equal a scholarship. That would make it a 
lot easier on your mom's purse. And when you're making the big bucks, 
sk% skn attorney, you can pay her back, with vacations, and unexpected 
presents, and by helping out skny siblings still in the nest. 


A Whack Place 

\ I 

What's up Beat? I'm going to write about the Ranch! 
The Ranch is whack. It doesn't help you. You work for no 
money and you have to pick up horse shhh! That's not 
cool, but I guess that's the way life is. Well, I am going 
back and doing that in the hot ass sun. 

Well Beat, I got to go. Hopefully I get out before the 
heat ends. I 

- Ugh, Horse Poo I 

From The Beat: Shoveling horse poo in the heat sounds like it would 
make you want to change your ways more than sitting around in the air 
conditioned unit in ^skn Jose. Good luck! 

Loving My Mom 


What's crackin' Beat. It's the one and only Nina, comin' 

at you from the honors unit. 

Today I want to 

Write about how much 

I love my mom and how 

Much I care for her. 

Today my mom came 

To see me and she 

Was cryin' and seeing 

Her cry made me 

Cry too because I love her and I don't want 

To see her like that. 

I just wanted to 
Tell you mom that 

I love you with 

All my heart and 

That I'm goin to finish 

My ranch program 

For you and me because 

I love her. 


From The Beat: What stn odd shape your piece is in. We hope you do 
finish your program and get home again, soon. What will it take to 


r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

This Is For Joey 

It's my bro's birthday and Fm not out to see him. But the 
worst part is even if I was out, I still wouldn't be able to 
see him, since he's in a military camp. It sucks but it's 
better then YA. I get to write him and hopefully, he gets 
it. I love my brother. Beat and I miss him. This makes me 
think of how I'm going to change my life so this situation 
doesn't come up again and so I can be there for my little 
bro. Thanks for being there for me. Beat - peace. 

- Eddie 

From The Beat: Your welcome, Eddie. It sounds like you, your brother 
and your cousin should help each other be on the right track instead of 
contributing to each other's problems. Maybe that can be a goal when 
you get out. 



Q-Vole Beat. A person that I love a lot other than my man 
and some of my siblings is my mom. I love her to death. 
She's been there for me through thick and thin. 

Every time I get locked up she comes and sees me 
even though she says she won't. In my court she always 
tells me she's gonna stand by me and help me stay strong 
while I'm doing my time. 

Well, to my mom Javi, I love you and I miss you, and 
to all my homies, stay up and take care. Alrato. 


From The Beat: The more you love, the more you will be loved back. 

What It Is Beat 

Well today I'm going to say Happy Mother's Day. Mom, 
I love you and I'm sorry I'm not home to be with you for 
Mothers Day, but when I get out I'm going to make it up 
to you. I hope you have a good day and don't try to think 
about me, because I don't want you to cry. Have a good 
time mom. I love you and miss you. See you when I get 
out mom. Your son. Baby Boy. Well Beat - to all the moms 
out there, have a good Mother's Day. 

-Baby Boy 

From The Beat: We hope your mom gets to see a copy of this issue. 

Soppose To Be Free! 


We're in America, we're supposed to be free, and yes I'm 
locked up. 


From The Beat: Freedom doesn't exist in a vacuum. Freedom exists 
in partnership with responsibility. Can't have one without the 
other. Is it possible that you've fallen a bit short in meeting certain 


I want to know why the voice I hear when I talk isn't the 
same voice I hear when I read or think. 


From The Beat: When we speak, unless we've memorized what we are 
about to %sk^, we 'extemporize'. That means that we make it up sk% we go 
along. So, what we say to ourselves, silently, is always a bit different 
from what we imagine we're going to %«y. }Ne're always responding 
to cues that we may not even be aware of. For instance, we see the 
beginning of a puzzled look on the face of the person we're talking 
to. Immediately, we begin to respond to this situation. What we might 
have said now becomes different words, other words, to respond to a 
changing situation. When we thinic, it's often at lightning speed. When 
yve speak, it^ always at a slower pace. This is a beginning of an ansiwer 
to your very thoughtful and intelligent question. But even as it is with 
speaking, when one writes a response, it to is subject to change, as the 
writing of it is in process. We might respond differently to the same 
question, asked at a different time. You keep thinking and reading. And 
asking such great questions. 

i I 

i I 



Kassandra: Como estas? 

Angela: Firme, just chilling, waiting to get out and do 

what I gotta do. And you? 

Kassandra: Kick with my carnal when he gets out. 

Angela: Me too. I'm about to be 18, with a bullet, and be 

off probation. 

Kassandra: Firme. Are you going to stay out of 


Angela: I'm gonna do the same but try to be more slick, 

and you? 

Kassandra: Yup. Tambien y que you gonna call me o 


Angela: Simon, because we have to go to Mike's Pizza. 

Kassandra: Yup, they make so much bomb pizza there. 

Angela: Serio and I hope to meet new and fine vatos. 

Kassandra: I used to work at Mike's 

Angela: So, you better start to work there again so you 

can hook it up foo. 

-Kassandra and Angela 

From The Beat: Hey, as for being slick and going back to your old ways, 
please leave your old ways in the past and move on!! Now save us a 
piece of pizza, please. Best of luck doing the right thing!! 

Tiflie Is Flyiog By 

What's good people? Well I'm happy because my time 
here is flying by fast. 

Today I have 85 to go and I been here since March 12 
and I got sentenced on April 11 and I got 120 days. 

Last week my PO let me get a visit from my daughter 
Alexis. My madre brought her and that just made me 
happy and made time go faster, so it's all good! Well do 
the best stay up and to my baby's mama Alejandra and my 
mom, also. 

-Gato Madre 

From The Beat: It's is good to hear time is going fast for you, since most 
people don't feel that way. But be sure to use these dead days to think 
about how you are going to be there for Alexis and Alejandra when 
you get out. 


Well, I think Hitman is such a sick -ass superhero because 
he is hella smart! The ways he kills people is sick-minded. 
He is really smart because he uses commonsense and 
thinks ten steps before he does anything. He uses his 
killing skills for the good of mankind, so he is not a 
negative superhero. 

Well Beat, this is it for me! Until next time I'm gone. 

- Camacho 

From The Beat: Did you play the video game or just see the movie? What 
do you think of the ways that video games and movies make these 
assassins into heroes? 

My Brothers 

What's up. Beat? Its gots to be Bugzy, back once again. 
But yeah, today I am going to write about my brothers. 
Well, first of all, I would like to tell my brothers to keep 
their heads up. 

But anyways. Damn Beat, I got another kid on the way. 
It kinda sucks, you know, 'cause I wanna be there for my 
kids but I'm always locked up. But what can I say? 


From The Beat: Well Bugzy, it seems like you have a lot on your mind. 
BetiAfeen your new baby and reuniting with lost loves and your seemingly 
inability to change the ways that got you locked up - we suggest using 
the time in here to really think about your life. 

r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-//// 

//// // 

Too Much Sadness 

X f 

What's good Beat? Me - just nothing - still here just 
waiting to go to the ranch. I'll be here 6 months in a 
couple of days. 

Other than that I'm just feeling sad today. Well, at first 
I was happy, then my mood switched up on me. Another 
reason is my boo bear is mad and I don't know why. I 
wish everything could be cool with us but I guess that 
won't happen. All I do is try then I just get rejected. I want 
to cry but when I cry I feel weird like that. This person 
doesn't understand that it affects me when they're sad or 
mad, then glad. I want that to stop. I want it to be happy 
and glad all the time. I just don't understand. I'm just 
throwing my feelings out there and they get thrown in my 
face. That's shady. 

One thing I'll let you know. I'm not going to give up on 
boo bear and that's real talk. Well, I'm gona leave it at that. 
It got me stressing like I don't know what. I'm frustrated 
like no other. This person doesn't understand. 

The silent treatment hurts real bad. I've been given 
the silent treatment almost my whole life. I'm gonna just 
have to feel weird and small because I'm gonna cry when 
I go to my room. Don't get me wrong, I'm not no punk but 
I just got a lot going on in my mind all the time and its 
time to let it go. 

Well I'm gonna get out of here Beat. Catch you on the 
flip side. 


From The Beat: Maybe all of u% would liice it to "be happy and glad all 
the time", but that's not possible. But it should be that way some of the 
time, maybe even a lot of the time. If you aren't getting good returns 
from people, maybe you're hanging out with the wrong folks. Find 
friends who appreciate what you have to offer. But don't stop offering. 
Just find the right folks. 

A Cool Minute 

Today I'm going to write about something else. Well I'm 
back here again and I still don't get out. I been at the 
ranch two times and I keep on messing up. 

Well this time I came back for running and I was on 
the run for a cool ass time. But I'm back here again just 
chillin' up in here. Well this time I don't know where I'll 
be going. Maybe back to the ranch or I'll get APA. Man, 
it was a cool minute that I had been out chillin' in the 
hood and do my thang out there, try to stay away from the 

It was crackin' out there for cinco de Mayo. But there 
was hella cops. But I still got away. But the next day I 
ended up in here and here I am chillin', waiting to get 


From The Beat: Let vl% ask you something Chino: what keeps you coming 
back? Although we love everyone's writings, we hate to see you back in 
here. Keep u% updated on what you're up to but we hope it's from the 
outs, not from in here again. 

< I 

M) Ibiights 


What's crackin' Beat. This is Elmo coming from this 

Well today I'm not really feeling your topics. So I'm 
just gonna come up with something. I've been hella mad 
lately 'cause I'm back from the ranch and now I don't even 
know what's gonna happen with me. I'm probably going 
to placement hopefully not. 

I'm tired of this. I want to go back to my block and post 
up in Watsonville. I've also made up my mind that when 
I get out I'm gonna stop smoking, at least until I get off 
probation. I really don't care if the homeboys think that 
I'm scared 'cause I don't smoke. It's not gonna bother me 
because I'm the one who's gonna be locked up, not them, 
you feel me. 

Well Beat I think I said it all. I can't wait to go to court, 
so wish me good luck. Well much respecto to all out there, 
stay out. 


From The Beat: You're dead on Elmo. Make your choices based on what 
you want to do and what's best for you, not what others tell you to do. 
We wish you the best of luck and hope you get a second chance to start 
over. Remember what you said in this piece! 

Good News 

What it do Beat. This your boy Angel, hahaha. 

Any who, so yea I got good news. I have 17 more days, 
until I get released. And for the bad news: after I get 
released, I have EMP. For 60 days. I don't wanna be on 
EMP. I just wanna be free, you know what I mean!!! Dang 
I miss my freedom. Chillin' with the homeboys from my 
hood. The one thing I really miss is my hyna [girlfriend] 

I feel sorry for getting locked up. But I ran out of 
options. I did what I had to do. So Beat! What do you think 
I should do. For that my hyna will forgive me. Well gots to 
go. Alrato. 

- Angel 

From The Beat: Focus on the positive Angel! You're getting out of here 
at least. As for advice on your girlfriend, have you tried apologizing 
to her? It seems to u% that if she %ee% how you've changed, she might 
forgive you. Whatever reason she got upset with you for, think about 
what you did, why it made her angry, and what you can do to change it. 
She needs to hear why you did what you did and overcome her anger 
be with you. Just talk to her about it! 

! I 

Piwer Witkout Violeice 


I'm not really to sure about power without violence 
because usually violence gets power faster, but you can 
loose it as fast as you got it. 

I think that if you manage to get power without 
violence, it would last you longer. 


From The Beat: Have you ever gained power without violence? Or power 
lAfith violence? 

Not kflowiflo wheo Tm cooiioo oot? 

What up Beat. Well I've shared with you guys a couple 
times we seen each other that I was going to get released 
on house arrest and on a program but I never did. I've been 
here 1 month and some days and haven't got sentenced. 
But I got court tomorrow and I feel good Beat about this 
one inside me. So hope to be home with my familia once 


From The Beat: We wish you the best of luck! You're ready to know where 
you'll be headed and we hope it's with your family. Keep us updated. 

i I 

J L 


One of my hero's was Batman. He got the power of money, 
which would give me what I want when I want. Also I like 
him because he uses his money to help others in trouble. 
One way I would use Batman's power is by giving. 


From The Beat: We're glad to see you'd be so generous with your money. 
Money doesn't really mean anything unless you do something with it. 
Who lAfould you give your money to? Your friends and family, a charity, 
a school? There are so many places you could give it to. How would you 


/^y.-/rA/v#>^ msWMMMim^ i^ if / 

^mammmmmEm ^/^/ /^ 

Learned A Lot 

I've learned a lot from curiosity. 
Like the wind, my mind works at full velocity. 

So, if you've ever thought to cross me, 
try again, because you don't want to see him - 

him and me again. 

It's the cravi; that's genuine from the grape vine 

Like the sun, I'll shine, and a sav I'll grind. 

All night I'll strive to get mine. 

So put me in that position 

and I'm bound to dine. 


From The Beat: We like it iwhen your "mind ivories at full velocity". But 
don't get stucic in the traffic of revenge. Be careful around those grape 
vines, and better to get some sleep at night, while you're at it. We enjoy 
your writing, in general, and we'd appreciate it even more if you wrote 
more from the heart. The tough guy stuff gets tired, especially when 
you have the brainpower and the heart to tell u% a deeper truth about 
yourself. We're waiting, and hoping. 



Witkoit Her 

Without her there ain't no satisfaction. 

Memories of us cuddled up, lips laughin'. 

When midnight would strike 

I could tell it was real. 

The moon wouldn't turn to black. 

Can't change the way I feel. 

Then words were exchanged 

and feelings of regret. 

Sitting in my room with memories 

making me upset. 

How can I get to her and show my true feelings? 

Love is like layers we just started peeling. 

One thing I loved was that we could share silence 

and our arguments would end with love, 

never violence. 

But it's gone now, a thing of the past. 

How did these circumstances turn weary so fast? 

- K 

From The Beat: T^y sending her this poem. A good poem has been 
knoiAfn to melt many a heart. And in the meantime, keep ivriting. You're 
getting good at this. 



No longer have my freedom because I committed a 


But got to let them know - the real me has to shine. 

Hope to get out to bust another rhyme. 

Hate this place but I gotta do my time. 

Telling the judge I didn't do it, but it's a lie. 

Gotta sit here and let time fly. 

Alright. Late, Beat. 


From The Beat: Well, sk% long sk% you're here, try busting more rhymes 
for u%. We like them. T^y telling the truth, too. Nothing rhymes like the 


I've hit the bottom and there's a lot going on and I don't 
know what to do. So I pray for the best and hope for the 
worst. I hope this fall ends soon. 


From The Beat: You've hit the bottom and you're still falling? So maybe 
it's the bottom that's falling, and you're holding on for the ride, sk% 
unpleasant sk% that may be. Our advice - let go. Sit quietly in your room 
and follow your breath in and out of your body, if you do that for fifteen 
minutes, several times a day, we can almost guarantee that you'll begin 
to feel better. Give it a try and then let us know how it goes. 

Stressed because my life is a mess. 
I'm the one to blame, but I'm never going to change. 

I stay in the streets, even when it rains. 

I take you under my wing when we creep, and vanish. 

Like smoke in the wind, we're too hard to see. 

Now I hate me, because I'm locked up in juvy. 

I was working as a janitor to put breakfast on my table. 

I give the cussing finger to my fat old boss, who fired 



From The Beat: We're sorry you got fired, and we don't like it that you're 
hating on yourself. Time for a little forgiveness and a fresh start. There's 
some good writing in this piece, notwithstanding that creepy creeping 
business. We know you can change, if you really want to. And we hope 
you want to. Good writing. Cowboy. Rope some more words for us. 

tiow can I get to her md 

^ show mif true feelings ? 
Love is like lai/ers we Just 
started peeling 


Spooge Afld Clay 

Like a sponge I'd soak up the mystery 

of what was real - the facts of history. 

Like clay, I was hard headed, refused to learn. 

Like the hands of a clock, I could feel my mind turn. 

With a past full of grief, I'd drift away, 

a teacher to some, to others, a disease. 

Kindness is weakness, the devil would speak. 

You melted like iceberg when hit with defeat. 


From The Beat: Fine writing. And also, we'd like to remind you what 
a famous historian said about refusing to learn from the past. He said 
something liice: those who do not learn from history are condemned to 
repeat it. We hope the poet who wrote the lines above will remember ■ 
his history. I 

Tlie Electiofl 

I don't really care at this time who wins the election 
because I can'tvote right now. But if it was up to me, I 
would choose any person who would be a good president. 
By that I mean no more freaking wars - none of that stuff. 
I want a president who will be fair with everybody. Stop 
the wars and stuff like that. A FAIR PRESIDENT! 


From The Beat: Any idea who might be that fair president you want? 

Tlie Electiofl 


I really don't care who gets elected for president, as long 
as this whole recession thing ends. Both Clinton and 
Obama are cool people. So both of them would be OK. So 
whatever happens happens. I just want gas prices to get 
lower and the worth of the American dollar to get higher. 
Just do it up, please. 


From The Beat: Thanks for your specific observation and your thoughtful 
comments. Hey - any idea how we might get the dollar to be worth 


r/r A/v#>^v mmMHmm jf / ^ ^ 

//// // 


Hmm, well what I have to say is that everyone loses 


all the time. 

You can't take it out on anyone except you. 

There were a lot of times when I lost my patience, 

especially with my boyfriend. 

Mostly, I can't blame him because it's me and things 

that I do are my decision. 

I can control my patience. 

What I do is take walks and think about the fun times I 

have with my daughter. 

It relieves all my stress, patience, and makes me not 


So, I have a big future in front of me and I will do good. 

Think about the positive things and don't lose patience. 

Just walking it off and do what's right! 

- Amber, Land Of Enchantment 

From The Beat: We're glad that you have a positive outiooic on your life 
and don't want to lose patience. Keep in mind what got you in here and 
what you need to do to stay out. It^ one thing to "taiic" about what you 
should do and it^ another to actually "act" on it. 

Lost Patience 


ed 1 

I have lost patience with myself. I have been incarcerated 
numerous times, and every time I say that I've had enough 
and I'm gonna change but always end up going right back 
to doing the same thing that got me locked up in the first 

For instance smoking and slanging both bud and 
meth, stealing, gang bangin', fighting, partying, and 
selling guns. 

I would do well for awhile after getting out. I lasted 
eight months the last time. I got my G.E.D. and was 
working two jobs. Then my homie got out of jail, and we 
started kicking it and slowly but surely I fell back into the 


From THe Beat: Life is all about the choices we make. It could be 
understandable to make a wrong choice once or twice, but numerous 
times? It's good you got your G.E.D and had a job, but now it's time to 
step up and take responsibility for your actions. 


Sitting here in cell six. 
Dreaming about fat-ass nicks. 
Trying to leave, but this court crap isn't a breeze. 
I've been screwing around. 
Hanging with the wrong crowd - my life turned upside- 
Need to quit running. 
It's about time I stop and face what's coming. 
My family is sick and tired of putting up with all my 
They tell me that I'm wasting my time. 
The clock continues to tick. 
The drugs, the hustling - it doesn't mean anything. 
My friends are trying to get me to do that same crap. 
They are bugging. 
But they aren't tJie ones stuck in this cell. 
And they won't post my bail. 
Need to get myself out of this hell. 

- Destany 

From The Beat: You try to act clear about what's going on in your life. 
Do you think dreaming about "fat-ass nicks" is going to get you "out of 
this hell"? Do you think you'll go back to the friends who "won't post 
your bail"? We certainly hope that you aren't just blowing smoke up 

Patience |a rapl 


I have a lot of patience but I'm 'bout to lose it 

I deserve to be free why I got to prove it 

If you wanna fight stop talkin' and let's do this 

You ain't no competition man I do it movin' 

Someone else gone sell 'em that why not get from me 

I ain't the one smokin' crack 

I'm just tryin' to make some cheese 

If I could chill in my pad 

without worrying about the police 

I wish I could get my record clean before I turn eighteen 

Because I'm still young wanna have fun and live my life 

Instead I'm on the run like freedom ain't even a right 

They wouldn't even suspect I had a gun 

if I look a lil' white 

I bet they'll let the witch become president 

before the black guy 

But they better give me a break 

if they don't then I'm escape 

I don't' wanna be late so just cut to the chase 

'Cause I want to get first place in this paper chase 

But because of this place it can never be that way 

-Da Bay Gurl 

From The Beat: You talk about having to prove you deserve freedom, 
and that if you don't get out you will escape? You must have done 
something to end up in detention, or you wouldn't be there. Freedom's 
not free, just ask our armed forces. Work to get your freedom back, and 
when you do, make the right choices in life to stay out of jail. 


The Fool 

nd I 


I have all this hate 

You better step off for your sake 

Or today may become an important date 

Even if it ain't your fate 

My patience is running low 

All I gotta say is "so" 

Even if you don't know 

I'll do more then take your dough 

'Cause you hurt me 

Now I see 

You're just a little boy to be 

Without no plea 

I let you play me like a fool 

That ain't cool 

I was drowned in a fake love pool 

By you the fool 


From The Beat: It sounds like some one you cared for really hurt you. 
With hate and anger like this will get you no where fast. Take a step 
back and look at your life, look deep and see if you like what you see. 
Look at all the things you are doing, and ask yourself if this is the life 
you want to live. 


Love's Ashes 


Our love lifted me to a place beyond the stars, 

and I cannot bear to fall now that you are gone. 

Could we have gone to high, to fast, too far? 

Did our hearts burn too brightly for their fiame to last? 

As I must endure the lonely darkness of love's ashes, 

I think it would have been better if we had taken fiight 

without them. 

From The Beat: Love is a painful emotion to loose. If you no longer have 
this love now, remember one day you will get it again. Next time go 
slow and savor the love you have, enjoy it and let that love groiw. 


.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

//// // 

Poller Vivir Sin Violencia 

X f 

Cuando me vine de mi tierra, Honduras, lo hice con 
intencion de Uegar a los Estados Unidos. Sabia que 
necesitaria mas que valor. 

En el camino de Guatemala a Mexico, me escape de 
que me hicieran prisionero. 

Cuando vienes, hay muchas personas que te 
maltratan, te insultan, y te golpean si es possible. Miren 
al Mexicano, solo esta a dos pasos, al dia siguiente esta 
aqui y al otro dia lo regresan. 

Ese es un lujo que no me puedo dar sin que me maten 

me hechen preso. Es Undo Mexico, pero cuando sufri al 
pasar sin papeles. Es muy duro los 5000 kilometros que 
recorri. Puedo decir que los recuerdo uno por uno. 

From The Beat: Podemos observar atraves de tu escritura como sufristes 
en ese camino. Has de haber pasado por muchos momentos dificiles. 
£Pero por que estas aqui despues de tantos efuerzos? Mira como esta la 
cosa. Los que viene de mas iejos, son los que mas tiran todo a la basura 
faciimente, y a los que vienen de cerca, son los que mas aprovechan la 
oportunidad. £No crees que deberia de ser al revez? 

Living Witiiout Vinience 

When I came from my land, Honduras, I left with the 
intentions to come to the US. I knew I was going to need 
more than courage. 

In the way from Guatemala to Mexico, I escaped from 
being capture as a prisoner. 

When you come here, there are people who mistreat 
you, insult you, and hit you if possible. For Mexicans, it's 
only a few steps away, the next day; they are there and 
may be back the following day. Mexico is beautiful, but 

1 suffered passing by without documents. It was hard to 
travel 5000 kilometers. I can say that I remember them 
one by one. 

Kevin, San Francisco 

From The Beat: We can observe through your writing how you suffer 
on that road. You must have gone through a lot of hard moments. The 
question is, why are you here after mailing a lot of efforts? Checic this 
out. Those who come from very far are the ones who threw away the 
opportunities they gained with much effort; and those who come from 
neai^by are the one who taice advantage of their efforts. Shouldn't it be 
the other way around? What you thinic. 

I I I I I 

Hd) Qie Nd Esti) miil 

' I 


Hoy que no estoy en mi pais, no puedo estar con mi 
familia y no puedo ver a mi madre ni al resto de mi familia. 
Tampoco puedo conversar con ellos. Tengo un problema 
bien grande y es que estoy preso y no se cuando vaya a 
salir y poder comunicarme con mi madre. 

Tengo la esperanza en Dios de poderme quedar en los 
Estados Unidos y poder ayudar a mi madre. 

From The Beat: Lastimosamente no puedes comunicarte con ellos 
porque estan Iejos de ti. £Si te llegan a dar e%sk oportunidad, que haras 

Today That I'm Not There 

Today, That I'm not in my country, I can't be with my 
family and I can't even see the rest of my family. I can't 
also talk with all of them. I have a big problem. It is that 
I'm locked up, I don't know when I'm getting out, and I 
can't communicate with my mother. 

I have the hope in God that He will let me stay in the 
US and be able to help my mother. 

-Carlos, San Francisco 

From The Beat: Sadly, you can't have stny type of communication with 
them because they are very far away, but soon you'll get it. if you were 
given the chance you need, ivhat ivould you do differently? 

\ I 


Mi Madre Es La Mejor 


Mi mama es la mujer mas buena y la mas trabajadora. 
Cuando yo tenia frio, ahi estaba ella para cuidarme. 
Cuando me faltaba algo, ahi estaba ella. Cuando me cahi, 
ahi estaba. 

Mi mama es una persona especial. Ella es la persona 
que mas quiero. 

From The Beat: £Y tu como eres con ella? No crees que ya es hora que 
tu estes por ella despues de todos los sacrificios que ha hecho por ti? 
Es tiempo! 

My Mother Is The Best 

My mother is the most nicer and hard worker woman. 
When I was cold, there she was to take care of me. When 
I fell, she was there. 

My mother is a special woman. She is the woman I 
love the most. 

-Juan, San Francisco 

From The Beat: How do you treat her? Don't you think it^ time for you 
to be there for her after all she has done for you? it's time! 

Adfliitieodo Los Errores 

Pase lo que pase tienes que admitir un error o cuando 
estamos equivocados. Pienso que de cualquier manera 
quieres salir limpio de todo el problema. 

Aveces confia mas en lo que piensan que son tus 
amigos y al final te das cuenta que te desfraudan. 

Una vez yo habia usado drogas y ese dia se habia dado 
cuenta en la escuela. Se me notaba hasta de Iejos y seguia 
negandolo, aunque ese dia tuve una de las experiecias 
peores que pase con ecstasy. 

Creo en lo que hacen las drogas. En mi manera de 
pensar, no tienes que Uegar tan bajo. Las drogas te Ueban 
demaciado Iejos. 

Yo tuve muy cerca la muerte y ahora me acuerdo de 
eso. Le doy gracias a un amigo que me salvo. 

Si conozco amigos que estan en drogas, pero no se 
dejan ayudar. Tal vez tengan que pasar por lo que pase yo 
y ver la muerte para mejorar su vida. 

From The Beat: £Pero que se gana con mentir, si siempre la verdad sale 
a luz? Nos dijistes que por nada pierdes tu vida, ten cuidado con lo que 
juegas. Las drogas pueden que %eskn divertidas, pero son muy peligrosa 
y danina en todo el sentido de la palabra. £Y tu que tienes pensado 
hacer para mejorar tu vida? 

Admittiog Oor Mistakes 

Whatever happens, you have to admit it when you commit 
a mistake or when we are wrong. I think you will find any 
way to come out clean from the problem. 

Sometimes you trust those who think they're your 
friends; as a result, they fail you. 

One time I used drugs, people from school find out. 
My high was noticed from far away, and I was still denying 
it. I had one of the worse ecstasy experiences. 

I believe in what drugs do. In my opinion, you don't 
have to hit bottom. Drugs will take you very far. 

I had death really close to me, and now I'm thinking 
about it. I thank a friend who saved me. 

I do know people who are stuck in drugs, but they 
don't people to help them. Maybe they have to go through 
what I went through and see death really close in order to 
better their lives. 

-Ana, Alameda 

From The Beat: What can you gain from denying things if the truth 
always comes to light? You told u% that you were almost close to loose 
your life. We suggest you to be careful with what you play with. Drugs 
may be fun, but they are also dangerous and very harmful. What do you 
have in mind to better your future. 

.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

//// // 

Cuando Pienso En Mi Situacidn 

X f 

Hola me Uamo Eduardo. Yo ahora les voy a contar sobre 
cuando pierdo la paciencia. Yo aveces la pierdo cuando estoy 
en mi cuarto. Me pongo a pensar en mi familia y en como la 

El ultimo dia del mes es el cumpleano de mi novia y 
no puedo estar con ella ni Uamarle. Me puse bien enojado 
conmigo mismo y todas las personas con las que estaba. 

Cuando me dicen, "oh vas a hacer 15 a 20 afios de carcel," 
me pongo triste y me desespero. Lo primero que se me viene 
a mente es mi novia y me tranquilizo. Si te desesperas y te 
sientes mal agarra la Biblia, leela y te sentiras mejor. 

From The Beat: Ese es un buen consejo. No sabemos lo que hayas 
hecho, pero esperamos que tu condena %esk justa y que aprendas de 
esta experiencia. Solo esperamos que aprendas de tu error y que te 
arrepientas de lo que hayas hecho. Haz lo mejor con tu vida y trata 
de salir lo mas pronto posible. Hay personas que al estar en prision se 
vuelven peor que antes. No %esk% otro mas en e%sk lista. Sigue con tu fe 
en Dios y que Dios te de la fuerza que necesitas para soportar lo que 

When I Think Ahout My Situatinn 

Hi, my name is Eduardo. I'm going to share something about 
loosing my patience. I loose it when I am in my room. I think 
about my family and how much I miss them. 

The last day of the month is going to be my girlfriend's 
birthday and I can't even call her. I got really mad with all the 
people that were around me and myself. 

When they tell me, "oh, you are going to do 15 to 20 
years in jail,' makes me sad and desperate. The first thing 
that comes to my mind is my girl and then I get calmed. If 
you get desperate or feel bad, take the Bible, ready and you 
will feel better. 

- Eduardo, San Francisco 
From The Beat: That's a good advice. We don't know what you've done, 
but we hope you get a fair sentence and to learn from this experience. 
If you committed this mistake, we hope you learn from this; what's 
more important, to regret what you've done. Do the best of your life 
and try to get out soon. There are people who come out worse after 
being coming out of prison or get into more trouble in there. Don't add 
yourself into the list. Keep your faith in God and have God to give you 
the strength you need to support what% coming for you. 


MuGhos Prohiemas 


Mi vida es un desastre. Estoy preso y no tengo familia en 
los Estados Unidos. Mi familia esta en Honduras. Porque no 
tengo a nadie aqui, no puedo salir. 

Mi meta es salir adelante. Solo porque estoy aqui, no me 
desanimo. Quiero seguir adelante. Tube muchos problemas 
para Uegar aqui a los Estados Unidos. 

Ya me he venido varias veces aqui. La primera vez estuve 
treinta y nueve dias. En Mexico me asaltaron, en Tapachula 
en el 2002. En Tenozique e agarro la migra. La segunda vez, 
me vine en el 2004, me agarraron. 

From The Beat: Entonces no has aprendido la leccion. £Por que te metes 
en mas problemas cuando sabes que es muy dificil venir aqui? Solo mira 
las veces que has venido y lo tanto que te has sacrificado por venir a la 
USA? £Cual es tu meta? £Por que tanto sacrificio para terminar aqui? Ya 
es hora que empieces a valorar los efuerzos que son duro de obtener. 

A Lnt Of Prohiems 

My life is a disaster. I am locked up and I don't have my 
family in the US. My family is in Honduras. Because I don't ^ 
have anyone here, I can't get out. 

My goal is to succeed. Just because I am here, I'm not 
going to get sad. I want to succeed. I had a lot of problems to 
come to the US. 

I've been here a certain number of times. The first time, I 
spent 39 days. I got robbed in Tapachula, Mexico in 2002. In 
Tenozique, I got captured migration. The second time was in 
2004 and I got caught as well. 

-Javier, San Francisco 
From The Beat: So, you haven't learned your lesson. Why do you get 
into so much trouble when you know how hard it is to come to the US? 
What's your goal? Why so much effort to end up in here? It's time you 
learn to value the efforts that are hard to gain. 


Sdio Creo En Dios 


No, yo no escojo ningiin poder de heroina porque no hay 
nadie en el mundo que tenga poderes. Poderes solo Dios 
los tiene y El se los da a quien el quiere. 

Si quisiera un poder, se lo pidiera a el, que me diera 
el poder de buscar de El, de predicar la palabra de Dios y 
ganar mucha almas para us reyno. 

Nunca he creido en el mundo, en alguien que tenga 
poder, en la droga, en la heroina, super heroes solo en 

From The Beat: Que bien que pienses sk%i. Es tu forma de pensar y no 
podemos hacer nada al respecto. Esperamos que Dios te de ese poder 
que anhelas para poder ayudar aquellos quienes necesiten de unsk gia 

I Oniji Beiieve In God 

No, I don't choose no power from a hero or a heroine 
because there isn't anyone in the world who can posses 
this power. Only God have the power and He decides 
whom to give power to. 

If I want power, I would ask Him for it, and ask Him to 
give me the power to look for Him, to predict the Word of 
God, and gain a lot of souls for His kingdom. 

I've never believed in the world, in someone who 
posses power, in drugs, heroine or heroes just in God. 

-Juan, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It^ good that you think like this. This is the way you 
think and we respect that. We hope you give you the power you desire 
so you can help those who need positive guidance. 

Mi Vida En Hnnduras 

Mi tierra es Honduras. Asi como todos ustedes, yo amo a 
mi pais. Bueno, yo en Honduras trabajaba y sali adelante 
para ayudarle a mi madre. Juntos salimos adelante. 
Asi comos algunos de nosotros, no tenemos padres y 
tenemos que ayudar a nuestra familia. Por eso hemos 
viajado hasta este pais para ayudarles a nuestra familia. 

Por eso hacemos lo que hacemos y mira donde 
estamos. Por eso hay que hacer lo que nos convenga y 
salir de aqui adelante cambiando nuestras vidas. Eso es 
lo mejor. 

Te aconsejo que sigas adelante. Sabes que, somos 
Latinos y salimos adelante. No se aguiten Catrachos. 

From The Beat: Esta bien que te preocupes por ayudar a tu familia por 
la gran necesidad en que siempre han estado, pero no puedes hacer lo 
negativo para obtener dinero. Sabemos que ser ilegal en este pais se 
les es hace dificil encontrar trabajo, pero tambien sabemos que no es 
unsk cosa imposible. Si quieres ayudar a tu familia, hazio de la forma 

My Life In Hooduras 

My land is Honduras. Like all of you, I love my country. 

Well, in Honduras I used to work and I succeeded 
helping my mother out. Together we succeeded. Like 
some of us, we don't have parents, so we have to help our 
family. That's why we have come to this country to help 
our family. 

That's why we do what we do and look at where we 
are. That's why we have to do what's convenience to us, 
and move on in life by changing our lives. That's the 
best. I advise you to succeed. We are Latinos and we will 
succeed. Don't worry Catrachos. 

-Luis, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It's OK to worry in helping your family for the necessity 
they've always been, but it's not OK to do negativity things to obtain 
money. We know ivhat by being illegal in this country makes it hard to 
find jobs, but we also know that it isn't stn impossible thing to do. If you 
want to help your family, do it the right way. 

.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^ 

Mis Heroes 

La verdad sobre los super poderes es algo que sientes 
adentro de ti, un deseo de volar, y hacer lo que miras. Por 
ejemplo, a mi me gusta Goku, Batman, los Power Rangers 
y quisiera ser todos esos y lo que hacen. 

Eso es como un vicio que no quieres dejar nunca. Es 
como si tii lo sientieras. 

Cuando me pongo a mirarlos, ni me doy cuenta 
cuando pierdo la mente porque me dan ganas de volar, 
tirar fuego por las manos, y ganas de peliar. Es algo que 
tii no puedes aguantar. Por dentro, sientes un poder, algo 
que te hace brincar, alegrarte, hacer mates en la cama. 

De tan to que los miras, hasta suefias con ellos. Suefias 
que tii eres el heroe, el chico bueno y que derrotas al 

Aveces suefia como si fuera el hombre Arafia y siente 
que andan saltando ediflcios por toda la ciuidad, salvando 
a toda la humanidad de todo el peligro, de extraterrestres, 
y de hombres malos. 

Suefio que tengo varios, que soy tan poderoso, que 
me pongo con cualquiera y que todos los malos me hacen 
las maldades, que me puedo arras trar con mi telas de 
arafias. Siento como si todo el mundo fuera mio. 

Lo mas importante de este papel es que todo el mundo 
debe saber que no hay mas poderes que el de Dios. 

From The Beat: Se nota que eres un gran fan de todos esos superheroes. 
Ahora dinos, si tubieras unos de eso super poderes harias algo para 
cambiar el mundo? ^Eliminat la violencia? ^Influenciar a los jovenes a 
que se mantengan libre y en%enskt lo que es bueno en esta vida 

My Heroes 

The truth is that super powers is something you feel 
inside yourself, a desire to fly, and do what you see. For 
example, I like Goku, Batman, and Power Rangers. I would 
like to be all of them and what they do. 

It's like a habit you don't want to leave ever. It's like if 
you can feel it. 

When I watch them, I loose my mind because it makes 
me want to fly, throw flre through hands, and to flght. 
It's something you can't control. Inside, you feel a power, 
something that make you want to jump, get you happy, 
and do silly things in bed. 

You watch it so much that make you dream with them. 
You dream you are the hero, the good guy who defeats the 
bad guy. 

Sometimes I dream I have many super powers, I am 
powerful, I flght with anyone, bad guy do badness, and I 
can climb up with my webs. I feel like the whole world 
was mine. 

The most important from this piece of paper is that 
the whole world should know that are no powers but 
God's power. 

-Elvin, San Francisco 

From The Beat: It^ noticeable that you are a big fun from those 
superheroes. Now tell u%, if you had super powers, what would you do 
to change the world Would you eliminate violence? Drugs? Or influence 
young people to stay out of trouble and teach what's good in this life? 

The president is not go- 
ing to come to mif hoMse 
to offer Me a taco, 

//// // 

Mis Pensamientos De Los Temos 


Yo creo que todos somos violentos solo que habemos 
personas mas violentas que otras. Uno se acostumbra a 
la vida. Todas las personas sabemos que vivimos en un 
mundo muy violento, pero uno necesita a alguien que 
lo guie, que lo saque de la violencia, que les de buenas 
palabra de consejos. 

Creo que la paciencia se pierde cuando lo estan 
molestando mucho o quizas cuando uno tiene un 
problema y no le escuchan a uno. Uno necesita que lo 

Y mi super heroe fuerons mis padres. Ellos estan 
donde pudieron. Me ayudaron y ahora yo tengo que ser el 
heroe. Cuando estoy afuera los ayudo, pero ahora ya no 
puedo porque estoy encerrado. Me siento mal porque ya 
no les puedo ayudar. 

From The Beat: £Y que tal contigo? £Eres violento? £Te falto guia o consejo 

alguien quien te aconsejara? Nos gusto mucho como expresastes el 
ultimo tema, de super heroes. Si consideras que tus padres te lo dieron 
todo, deberias de darles lo que se merecen, pero haciendo cosa que no 
te manden a este lugar. Hay muchas manera como puedes ayudarlos. 
Que lindo te expreastes de ellos. Los quieres mucho. Ahora hazio feliz. 

M]f Thoughts Ahout The Topics 

1 think we are all violent, but others are more violent than 
others. One gets used to life though. People know that 
we live in a violent world, but we need someone to guide 
us, who can take us away from violence, and to give good 

I think you can lose your patience when you are mad, 
maybe when you have a problem, and don't have someone 
to listen to you. 

My superhero is my parents. They got to the point 
where they wanted. They helped me and now I have to be 
their hero. When I am on the outs, I help them, but now 
I can't because I am locked up. I feel bad because I can't 
help them anymore. 

-Anderson, San Francisco 

And what about you? Are you violent? Did you have a guide or someone 
who can give you advice? We like the way you expressed the last 
paragraph, about super heroes. If you consider that your parents gave 
it all to you, you should give them what they deserve, but doing things 
that can send you to this place. There are many ways how you can help 
them. It was nice the way you expressed yourself about them. You love 
them so much. Now make them happy. 

No Me Importa 

A mi no me importa quien sea el presidente. Me tiene sin 
cuidado. Sino hago algo para conseguir dinero no vivo. 

El presidente no va a venir a mi casa a darme un taco. 
No me preocupo ni del presidente de pais ahora voy a 
pensar en otro presindente. 

From The Beat: Por personas como tu es que aquellos paises estan llenos 
de presidentes corruptos. La vos y el voto de los jovenes pueden hacer 
una diferencia. sAcuerdate de eso! 

I Dofl't Care 

I don't care who the president is. It doesn't matter to me. 
If I don't do anything to get money, I can't live. 

The president is not going to come to my house to 
offer me a taco. I don't even worry about the president 
from my own country and now I'm going to worry about 

-Yelson, San Francisco 

From The Beat: For people like you is the reason why other countries' 
presidents are corrupters. The voice and vote from young people can 
make a difference. Remember that! 



wmn^m/u r » h^/ rj^ffn r 

'/<Bi^Xn AfC/<M¥' 


Cancer, My Reality 

My friends, it's been two years. It's time. I have some 
news to share. It's a tough one for me and those who know 
me personally (i.e. the great writer Misha, AKA Mikhail 
Markhasev) will understand why. About a year ago I was 
having a problem with a hemorrhoid. Too much info, 
right? Sorry, but some things must be discussed. After a 
year of daily pain, the doctor sent me for a colonoscopy. 
The nurse wakes me after the procedure and said, "You 
don't have a hemorrhoid. It's a tumor and it looks like 

Could I be the only one here, the one and only 

And I don't mind the sound of your voice, but hate the 
words that you say. 

It just so happens I recently came back in contact 
with our friends at The Beat and what better way is there 
to let out your feelings of fear and loneliness than through 
writing about it? 

I thought I was alone, but Annie from The Beat pulled 
my name out of the ashes and reached out to me. A sign. 
Write about it. The fear that haunts us all is the beginning 
of The End. It seems it's way too cold but will we last 
another year? Who knows? God only. And if He grants us 
that year, what will we do with it? 

The last couple of years I've worked hard on two things, 
is keeping in good condition and the other is music. We 
have a band here and I sing in a rock band and play bass 
for the R & B rap band, so I'm lucky. I am in prison, but 
the two things I do best, entertain and write, I get to do 
without limitations! I'd say that makes me FREE! 

I'm scared! I got this cancer in me and sometimes I'm 
so alone in my head I want to cry. I'm hoping that putting 
the plain trutii on paper to all of you will somehow give 
me some peace of mind. I'm cool with God. I know that He 
is going to welcome me to His kingdom come judgment 
day. What I'm scared of, though, is not being given one 
more day to wake up next to my girl, smiling and shining, 
smelling fresh as the new day, or hanging out with my 
dogs. Blaze and Pan. But when I write it down, I can 
almost see her, smell her. 

I can almost see those two slobbering boxers jumping 
up on the bed. Another day away from home Another day 
to kill another world that they're blind to Another day in 
hell. Pray for me! Thank you for the chance to hang out 
with you for a while. I have a couple of issues of The Beat 
and I'm going to see what you are into. Take care. PS, find 
what makes you FREE! 

Kevin McKay, writing from Corcoran State Prison, needs all our 
prayers and good thoughts. Our of friend was diagnosed with 
cancer recently (he shared his story with u%\ and feels that he's on his 
own, since healthcare in prison is not the best or the most personal. But 
throughout all the trials and challenges that life has placed on Kevin he 
still maintains in high spirits, and positive. His music he plays sets him 
free. He has a few pieces he would like to share and hopefully it can 
inspire some of you to really think about life. We're praying for you, 
Kevin. You're not alone. 

Simply For You 

Part of me died today 

You walk away 

But I drink from life 'til I breathe 

Part of me lives in pain 

It's all I need 

It lives inside my mind and feeds 

And I was sent to suffer 
For you. 

They heard me cry in vain when 

You called my name 

Accusing eyes still search for me 

I'm left alone and insane 

And on my knees 

Every heartbreak feels the same 

And I was sent to suffer 
For you. 

In my mind I drift away 

To the dawning of an age 

A simple plan a simple mind 

And you're still standing in line 

And I was sent to suffer 

For you. 

Arise and let ifoiir somI he free 
Arise and let ifo^r heart helleve 

If Yoor Faith is Crombliflo 

If your faith is crumbling 

Take a look in the mirror 

Something inside, as time runs out 

Should make you see things much clearer 

I hope you yearn 

To find compassion in the vilest eyes 

I hope you learn 

To see the lion in disguise 

Arise and let your soul be free 

Arise and let your heart believe 

I hear you calling, the tears are falling 

With love, I'm forced to scream my will at you 

I see you falling 

Into the flood of your awakening 

And if you fade in shame 

Look to the sky, knowing hope remains 

Give in a way that I can feel 

Bring the tears of a soul in pain so real 

Arise and let your soul be free 

Arise and let your heart believe. 



wmn^m/u r » h^/ rj^^if r 



Retribution vs. Reiiabiiitation 

In the scientific and technological fields, we have 
transcended the impossible. We have walked on the moon, 
mapped the human brain, performed open-heart surgery, 
vaccinated polio and small pox, and cloned a sheep named 
Dolly. However, when it comes to social issues, particularly 
what to do with those who commit crimes, we remain 

How is that we can elevate our thinking to a plane that 
allows us to explore the depths of the ocean, carbon date 
a fossil that is thousands of years old, and predict the 
next natural disaster, yet when it comes to implementing 
a paradigm that will effectively curtail our overwhelming 
crime rate, our evolution of thought reverts back to the 
Paleolithic Age? 

Yes, I am implying that our current approach to 
corrections is primitive and barbaric. Approximately 
750,000 years ago, the Neanderthal was not capable of 
higher thought; his brain had not evolved to the point 
where he could make rational decisions. Consequently, his 
decisions were impulsive, reactive, and guided by emotions 
rather than intellect. Similarly to the Neanderthal, our 
criminal justice policy is being motivated by fear, anger, 
and retribution. 

Every time the media flashes provocative and appalling 
images of a crime scene across our television sets, we 
cringe in fear and ask ourselves the dreaded hypothetical 
question: What if someone tries to harm me, or worse yet, 
my family? Pressure is put on Congress and they respond 
by passing laws. Virtually no hearings are held, no experts 
consulted, and no rational debate is held when they pass 
another set of these impulsive prison terms. Most people 
in society do not ask about any long-term effects of the 
"tough on crime bill;" they are just satisfied that their fears 
are temporarily extinguished and offenders will serve a 
lengthy prison term for their improprieties. As the result of 
our emotional approach to deterring crime, the U.S. prison 
population has swelled to a staggering 2.5 million people! 

Can you believe that the United States incarcerates more 
of its own people per capita than any other country in the 
world, including countries with large prison systems, such 
as Russia and China? Well, it's true! Just as astonishing is 
how much money we spend on this growing phenomenon. 
We spend a staggering 40 billion a year on corrections, 
costs that are having a profound effect on all of us. 

For nearly thirty years, "lock 'em up and throw away 
the key" has been our stance on crime. We have abandoned 
rehabilitation, legislated harsh prison sentences, even 
for nonviolent offenses, and made criminals second-rate 
citizens. Unfortunately, despite the astronomical number 
of criminals behind bars and the billions of dollars 
squandered on warehousing them, crime is still devastating 
our communities. How can we in good faith continue to 
expend so much of our economic resources on the criminal 
justice system and see very little return on our investment. 
Deterrence, retribution, and incapacitation are ineffective, 
cost prohibitive, and counterproductive to eradicating 
crime. At some point, we have to be smarter investors, not 
only with our finances but also with other human lives. 

Please don't misconstrue what I am saying. I, too, am 
outraged when I turn on the local news and the anchor 
vividly describes how a forty-five-year old sexual deviant 
dragged a twelve-year-old girl into the woods and violently 
raped her. Instinctively, I am disgusted, livid, and want 
instant retribution for the little girl who was robbed of her 
innocence. Moreover, I want him to spend the rest of his 

Christopher R. Bowers, has submitted these articles in hopes that 
they will maice a difference in someone else's life. He is incarcerated 
at Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron, Missouri. He's a 
co-author of "Lost Innocence," a book designed to help other young 
people avoid bad choices and distorted thinking that would lead to a 
life in prison. You have some great ideas, Chris. Let^ hope somebody 
who can do something will read your suggestions. 

natural life behind towering prison walls that are fortified 
by armed guard towers where he will never be able to harm 
another one of our children! 

Now that the aforementioned forty-five year old sex 
offender is safely confined behind bars, we believe the 
harsh conditions of prison and loss of freedom will act 
as a deterrent, thus preventing him from committing 
future crimes. Right? In our rational minds, we find it 
inconceivable that a person who serves fifteen to twenty 
years behind bars would ever jeopardize their freedom ever 
again. Too much would be at stake. Who would ever be so 

Well, let me introduce you to Johnny. Johnny grew up in 
a quiet suburb in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he received 
the ideal American upbringing. His mother was a history 
teacher at the local middle school and his father worked 
as a self-employed psychiatrist. Early on, Johnny's parents 
instilled in him the importance of honesty, integrity, and 
hard work. Johnny was smart, gifted, and charismatic. 
Teachers and fellow students were enamored with him. He 
had an uncanny ability to relate to everyone, which helped 
him to win the coveted position of Senior Class President. 
Johnny's contagious personality wasn't his only asset 
either. He was a superior athlete, too. He was a two-time all- 
state track champion and been ranked the best high school 
quarterback in the Midwest. Johnny's future was filled with 
promise and hope. He had scholarship offers from nearly 
every college in the United States. 

Johnny was the boy next door who was voted most 
likely to succeed by his classmates. However, despite his 
superior intellect and overwhelming popularity, he was not 
immune to peer-pressure. As a result, Johnny's choice of 
friends had not always been so wise. His best friend Danny 
was a troubled kid from the darker side of the tracks. Danny 
had experienced all the rotten breaks of life. His father was 
in prison and his mother barely home because she had to 
work two jobs to help her support her three children. With 
no parental guidance, Danny ran the streets searching for 
a place to fill in. Consequently, he was driven to the unruly 
cliques who abused drugs, ran with gangs, and committed 
crimes. Unlike Johnny's future, Danny's was bearing down 
on him. 

Despite Danny's unruly behavior, Johnny felt obligated 
to his childhood friend. Johnny was the only one who really 
understood Danny. Though they were polar opposites, they 
were inseparable. Of course, tiieir affinity was their love 
for football. They had played together all the way going 
back to Pop-Warner. Their chemistry on the football team 
was hypnotizing. Together they had led their high school 
football team to the state championships two years in a 

One late Friday night Danny asked Johnny to go with 
him to heist some beer from Michael's gas station so they 
could celebrate their latest win on the gridiron. At first, 
Johnny just laughed off the juvenile proposition. However, 
the longer the thought tumbled in his mind, the deeper the 
peer pressure penetrated. When around Danny, Johnny's 
character always felt puny. Deep down, Johnny envied 
Danny's ability to live his life without restraint. Johnny 
had lived in such a sheltered world that he never made a 
choice without first debating the consequences in his head. 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^7/?7wn7mmm^ m/u ^'//J {/f .^ 

'HH^TS UnWB/PS canr, ', 

However, Johnny's darker side was growing within him. He 
was ready to shed his innocence and prove his manhood. 

As they sat in the parking lot in a drunken stupor, 
Johnny ran down the plan for the harmless crime. Johnny 
would distract the clerk by asking for instructions on how 
to get to the nearest town while Danny snatched up two 
cases of beer. Mentally prepped, they sauntered into the 
gas station, smelling like they had just swam in a pool 
of Budweiser. As they walked by the counter, the clerk's 
trailing eyes followed the two suspicious teens. 

Danny was a wreck. His eyes looked like they were on 
fire, his hair pointed in every direction on earth, and he 
could barely stand, let alone walk. The more Johnny looked 
at Danny, the more the thought of being caught grew in his 
mind. Danny stumbled toward the cooler filled with alcohol 
beverages. Johnny tried to keep the clerk distracted, but 
his worst fear kept playing before his incredulous eyes. 
He could barely contain himself. As each second played 
out in still frames, fear flushed out the alcohol from his 
inebriated system, quickly sobering him up to the reality of 
the criminal act that was about to transpire. 

Danny snatched two cases of beer and bolted for the 
parking lot. Johnny in disbelief stood frozen in statuesque 
pose. The clerk, in his mid-twenties, leapt over the counter 
and chased Danny into the dim-lit parking lot. Danny ran 
to his car, slung the car door open, and threw the cases of 
beer in the back seat. The vigilante clerk leapt out of the 
darkness and jumped onto Danny's back. Danny, stronger, 
broke free and tossed the clerk onto the hood of the car. 
Johnny ran out of the store. The clerk, not wanting anymore 
of Danny, got up and jumped on the back of the smaller and 
easier target. Not wasting any time, the clerk sunk in a rear 
naked choke-hold and squeezed with all his might. 

Bursts of lights flickered in and out of Johnny's head 
as he slipped in and out of consciousness. Danny knew 
the consequences of being caught, but his loyalty wouldn't 
allow him to abandon his best friend. He jumped out of the 
car, slipped in behind the clerk, and with a force of a bat, 
smashed his forearm across the right side of his face. A 
stream of blood spew from the clerk's twisted body as he lie 
unconscious in front of the store he tried to protect. 

A few sleepless nights later, Danny and Johnny were 
arrested, arraigned, and detained in county jail on the 
charges of robbery and murder in the second degree. 
Johnny's paid attorney convinces him that he can beat the 
charges because his role in the crime is minimal. Confldent 
in his attorney's abilities, he rejects the State's offer of two 
concurrent flve-year sentences. 

Familiar with the criminal justice system, Danny knows 
the State's plea bargain of flve years is the best offer he will 
get. He accepts the offer and pleads guilty to stealing and 
involuntary manslaughter. With good time, his attorney 
assures him that he could be out in two years. 

After an intense and emotional flUed four-day trial, a 
jury, who didn't quite comprehend the complex statutory 
definitions of a lesser-included offense, finds Johnny 
guilty of second degree murder and second-degree 
robbery. Everyone involved is disheartened, including 
the prosecutor. The trial judge is frustrated at the jury's 
lack of understanding of the law. However, as the judicial 
officer, he must set aside his personal opinion and follow 
the letter of the law. Bound by strict sentencing guidelines, 
he reluctantly sentences Johnny to a twelve year term of 

Unfortunately for Johnny, due to the "tough on crime" 
stampede. Congress passed a series of "truth-in-sentencing" 
bills which require violent offenders to serve the majority 

of their sentences. Since second degree murder is 
classified as a violent offense, Johnny will have to serve 
a minimum mandatory sentence of ten years before even 
becoming eligible for parole. Because of the length of his 
sentence and the State's ability to receive more funding, 
Johnny is classified as a dangerous offender and shipped 
to a level five m£iximum-security prison. Despite this being 
Johnny's first incarceration and only being eighteen, he is 
dumped in the oldest and most violent prison in the state, 
known to its denizens as the "bloodiest 47 acres in the 
United States." Unlike Johnny, the majority of the cons 
at the "walls" are serving life sentences for unspeakable 

As the "Gray Goose" (bus) passes through the "gates 
of hell," he wonders how he, a suburbanite, with no 
battleground experience, will survive amongst the coliseum 
of gladiators. Later that day, after orientation, Johnny is 
issued a bedroll, three sets of state issue clothes, and is 
assigned a cell on the third tier in A-Block. As he enters 
through the steel door of his new housing unit, steps into 
his new cell house, a band of "booty bandits" is hanging out 
at the bottom of the stairs, looking for their next victim. 

Smelling fear, the cold, vicious pack of predators 
trail Johnny to his cell. Oblivious to the ominous crowd, 
Johnny opens the door and steps into his new steel abode. 
Five shadows sweep in behind him and force him onto the 
suspended bed. For the 1,800 seconds, he is held at knife 
point while five muscle bound monsters brutally rape him. 
When they finish, Johnny is bruised, bloody, and broken. 

Inmates adhering to the criminal code turned up their 
radios to drown out Johnny's screams. The two correctional 
officers that guarded the unit were too busy playing the 
freaks with a group of sycophants to notice that a rape was 
happening within their unit. Johnny was stranded alone in 
a cruel world that devoured the weak. With nowhere to run, 
he succumbs to the inevitable and becomes a penitentiary 
punk. For the next few years, he is forced against his will to 
perform unspeakable sexual acts. 

Johnny's psychological prison becomes much more 
darker and treacherous than the physical one his body 
occupies. In order to escape his mental cage, he plunges 
syringes of heroin into his arms. Consequently, his body 
becomes addicted to the narcotic that makes his cruel and 
tragic world fade away. Over the nightmarish years, Johnny 
makes several attempts at suicide, receives numerous 
institutionally conduct violations for the use of intoxicating 
substances, and spends most of his time being caged in the 
hole for disciplinary infractions. The concrete jungle and 
its unruly beasts have consumed him and all that remains 
is a shell of a man. 

In the last nine years, his grandma, grandpa, and 
his favorite uncles have passed away. The collateral 
consequences of having a loved one caged behind bars 
is too demanding and the proverbial out of sight, out 
of mind becomes the rest of his family's unconscious 
stance. Buried alone, he has no impetus to regain his 
freedom. Years of adversity have hardened him. He is use 
to disappointment, sorrow, and mind-numbing loneliness. 
Being scolded, patronized, and debased by prison staff has 
become part of his daily prison routine. Johnny has grown 
cold from the emotional storms of frustration, bitterness, 
and resentments, eroding any hope for the old Johnny to 

Eventually, he is transferred to a medium-security 
prison where only a few cons know his lurid past. He is no 
longer petrified of the unknown or intimidated by the threat 
of violence; he has embraced the abnormalities of prison 




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'CH/PXS UnU/B/PS nanT, ' 

life. Johnny has conformed to the overwhelming rules of 
the concrete jungle and is now ready to claim a section of 
the prison yard for himself. He has decided that he is no 
longer going to be passed around like an unwanted relative, 
he is no longer going to hold onto anyone else's shank or 
drugs, and definitely is no longer going to be anyone else's 
penitentiary punk. 

Johnny goes from being the "prey" to being the 
"predator." He spends his days lurking outside "flshrow" 
(housing unit for newcomers), stalking his next victim. 
Johnny now believes that power and control is the answer to 
restore his manhood. Consequently, young white vulnerable 
kids become ensnared in Johnny's web of violent sexual 

Any semblance of compassion, understanding, and 
love has been swallowed up by fear, intimidation, anger, 
and violence. Johnny has been taught that the two most 
deadliest weapons in prison are fear and anger. He knows 
that every time he brandishes his razor sharp sword coated 
in anger and fear, intimidation slices through the minds of 
his victims. He knows firsthand that the psychological act 
of being brutally stabbed is a million times more lethal than 
the actual physical act. The atrocities he's seen and been 
subject to has left him numb. 

After serving a decade in the bowels of prison, he appears 
before the Board for consideration of parole. The Chairman 
conducts a five-minute hearing covering the standard set 
of questions; "Tell me about your crime." "What do you 
plan on doing if you are released?" "Why didn't you take 
programs?" During the hearing, Johnny expresses no 
remorse, offers no explanation for his behavior while in 
prison, and presents no realistic future plans. A cursory 
review of his institutional file reveals that he has had over 
a hundred institutional infractions, ranging from sexual 
misconduct, possession of controlled substances, and 
numerous assaults with a deadly instrument. 

Approximately four weeks later, Johnny receives his 
parole answer via the institutional mail. His notice of action 
states: "You have been scheduled for immediate release." 
After serving nearly eleven years in prison, he is cast back 
into society with no high school diploma, no marketable 
skills, and no psychiatric counseling. He has no money, no 
clothes, and no place to stay. His family has turned their 
backs on him after years of manipulation and abuse. He had 
swindled thousands and thousands of dollars from them 
for dope and they no longer want anything to do with the 
man prison has bred. His only means of shelter becomes a 
cot at the local Salvation Army. 

In prison, Johnny was feared, respected, and 
penitentiary-rich. However, he is quickly learning that the 
behavior rewarded in prison is shunned in society. He is 
baffied and doesn't know how to make the transition from 
prisoner to citizen. Society operates on an entirely different 
set of rules and principles and morals taught to him as a 
youth were smothered by the overwhelming negativity of 
prison life. Being a con is all he knows. 

During the course of his lengthy stay in prison, he has 
met a throng of criminals. It just so happens that several of 
them live in the area where he was dumped. After tracking 
them down, he asks them for a little financial help. Just 
like Johnny, they had been spewed out into society with no 
assistance. However, they have learned how to cope in their 
new but strange environment. Criminal tactics worked for 
them in the past, so they returned to what works best for 

Johnny's penitentiary associates are eager to help a 
fellow con. As a sign of respect, they front him a few ounces 

until he can get on his feet. However, like most dope 
fiends, he terribly fails in his attempt to sell the drugs for 
profit. Instead of selling the dope, he ends up abusing it. 
Several blurred and sleepless days later, he begins breaking 
into houses to finance his new "meth habit." 

Johnny's addiction has grown so out of control that his 
mind and body won't allow him to rest until he gets his next 
hit. He stops reporting to his parole officer and goes on the 
run. Six weeks after he was released from prison he is re- 
arrested and taken before a judge. His short stay in society 
is over. During one of the many burglaries he committed, a 
forty year old mother of two came home, startling Johnny. 
Tragically, Johnny panicked and blew the mother away. 

In Johnny's case, did deterrence or incapacitation 
work? I don't believe so. We sent Johnny to "gladiator 
school," a place where he was trained by robbers, rapists, 
and murderers to be the worst of the worst. How could the 
seventeen year old impressionable kid not grow worse? He 
should have never been sent to an adult prison in the first 
place. Moreover, we should have sent him to a place where 
he could have learned from his past mistakes and became 
a better person. 

In our attempt to deter crime, we actually spawned 
a monster. How can we expect to punish an offender for 
his or her crime, then send them to a place that promotes 
criminality, substance abuse, exploitation, and violence? 
What are the lessons we are trying to teach? A pundit of 
punishment might argue that at least we were protected 
from Johnny for a decade. I don't believe this is the case. I 
believe that in our attempt to deter crime, we created a man 
capable to even greater crimes, thus making even more 

It is evident that from Johnny's case and the many 
more like his, our system of punishment does not work, 
it's unjust, and is respected by few; not by the citizen, not 
by the victim, and not by the offender. For some offenders it 
does not punish, for most it does not deter, and for certain 
it does not rehabilitate. 

The institutions that were initially designed to bring 
about redemption and reform have collapsed into retributive 
warehouses. Mindlessly, we dump these breathing 
corpses into concrete and steel coffins, bury them in 
lengthy sentences, and abandon them to rot. Entombed, 
the decomposing nameless corpses are hollowed by the 
parasites of condemnation, solitude, and banishment. 
Years later, after a capricious and arbitrary decision, the 
Board resurrects the prisoner from their concrete cemetery 
and casts him or her back into a society they are no longer 
familiar with. 

The public views the prison, no matter how horrible, as 
the pain that an offender must suffer. However, prisoners 
are sent to prison as punishment for their crime(s) not for 
punishment. Once an offender is incarcerated, our method 
should shift from retribution to rehabilitation. 

We must contain offenders, correct them if possible, and 
if they are released, it must be to some form of productive 
endeavor, and to some rational hope for success. We do 
not want ex-prisoners or criminals to be released. We want 
productive and law-abiding citizens to be re-enculturated. 
For the greater good of society, let's stop fiushing prisoners 
into septic social systems that are filled with rage, violence, 
and apathy. Let's set aside our indifference, abandon our 
punitive precepts, and implement modalities that are 
consistent with rehabilitation. So where do we start? How 
about we begin with the obvious. 

Nearly ninety percent of offenders incarcerated were 
either high when they committed their crime or were 



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'CH/PXS UnU/B/PS nanT, ' 


committing their crime to get high. In attempt to diminish 
this epidemic, legislators have passed absurd mandatory 
sentences for drug related offenses. Often these draconian 
sentences carry the same range of punishment as violent 
crimes, such as robbery, rape, and murder. This form of 
punishment is barbaric, inept, and socially damaging. 

It is illogical to think that we can use harsh prison 
sentences to deter people from abusing drugs and alcohol. 
For decades we have tried this approach and been terribly 
unsuccessful. Addiction is a cunning, baffling, and powerful 
disease that cannot be treated with crude depravation 
tactics. In order to treat addiction, we must understand 
that drug and alcohol abuse is a symptom of a deeper 
psychological crisis. Drugs and alcohol are not the sole 
problem, rather it is feelings of inadequacy, guilt, sorrow, 
anger, shame, and a host of other toxic emotions that stem 
from environmental stresses, such as mental, physical, and 
sexual abuse. To cope with their crucifying pain, addicts 
medicate their pain with mind-altering chemicals. 

If we want to end the perpetual cycle of crime and 
addiction, we must address the impetuses that cause 
substance abuse and antisocial behavior. Furthermore, if 
we want a true and sincere conversion, we must provide 
addicts and criminals with extensive counseling, cognitive 
restructuring, behavioral modification, and situational 
techniques. We must provide safe environments where 
prisoners can feel safe to meticulously excavate the 
ancestry of their fears, resentments, inadequacies, shame, 
and anger. We must teach them how to cope with stress 
and emotions and arm them with tools that will enable 
them to live on life terms. Then it is the responsibility of 
the prisoners to reconcile with their past and forgive their 
trespassers, including themselves. 

To be truly effective in our attempt to rehabilitate, we 
must implement a treatment modality that begins the minute 
the prisoner is received by the diagnostic and reception 
center. I suggest the following: Every prisoner entering the 
Department of Corrections should immediately be seen by 
a trained professional counselor. Together, the prisoner 
and counselor would review the prisoner's crime report, 
details surrounding the offense, age of commitment, social 
and economic background, substance abuse, education, 
and observations of behavior and offer suggestions for 

After thoroughly examining the prisoner's case file, 
the counselor would prepare a detailed report that would 
outline recommendations for rehabilitation., the prisoner 
would have to complete all mandated programs, e.g. if the 
prisoner had a history of substance abuse, he or she would 
be required to undergo extensive drug counseling. (There 
must be a range of programs available for the counselor to 
choose from, such as victim impact, therapeutic community, 
substance abuse counseling, A. A., N.A. Breaking Barriers, 
Transactional Analysis, Youth Services, Self-esteem, 
Criminality, Addictive Thinking, Life Skills, Successful 
Relationships, Long-distance Dads, Wounded Boys, Victim 
Mediation, Cage Your Rage, Alternatives to Violence, etc.) 

Along with the cognitive and behavioral classes, college 
classes and vocational training should be provided in every 
institution. A prisoner's odds of not re-offending increases 
exponentially when they enter back into society with a 
marketable skill. Every ninety days the counselor shall 
meet with the prisoner to ensure that he or she is making 
therapeutic progress. Correctional officers, case workers, 
supervisors, volunteers, and other relevant institutional 
personnel should periodically submit reports on the 

prisoner's attitude and institutional adjustment. 

Prison life should mirror society as much as 
possible without infringing upon the safety and security 
of the prison. Prisoners should be rewarded for exemplary 
behavior and punished for unacceptable behavior. Every 
prisoner should be required to perform restorative justice, 
giving back to the community from which they took. Every 
able-bodied prisoner should be required to provide a full 
and meaningful day of labor and be rewarded for their 
productivity. The prisoner's labor should be directed to 
helping the prison become self-sufficient, thus saving the 
state money. 

To ensure compliance, the Department of Corrections 
should operate on a point system, which would determine 
the prisoner's release date. Prisoners who complete self-help 
programs, college classes, vocational training, employment, 
counseling, and restorative justice and display exemplary 
behavior would be rewarded points. Prisoners who receive 
disciplinary infractions, refuse to participate in self-help 
programs and counseling and display an overall lack of 
therapeutic gain would lose points, thus extending their 
stay in prison. Under the point system, every prisoner would 
be directly in control of their fate. Prisoners who refuse to 
comply should be housed in a prison with others who hold 
the same mentality, thus eradicating the incorrigibles from 
the corrigibles. 

Once the prisoner received an out-date, they should 
be transferred to a prison that offers work-release, family 
integration, and furloughs, thus giving the prisoner an 
opportunity to slowly reintegrate into society. Upon release 
back into society, prisoners should be linked to sponsors 
who would help the prisoner to obtain his or her driver's 
license, find employment, transportation, and housing. 

Annually, parole officers should escort parolees back 
to the prison from which they were released. Once inside, 
the parolee would meet with prisoners to share his or her 
strengths, hopes, and experiences. This vital program 
would serve two purposes: encourage prisoners that they 
can successfully reintegrate into society and remind the 
parolee where he or she came from. 

All parolees should be mandated to participate in 
volunteer programs such as Y.M.C.A., Salvation Army, A. A., 
N.A., Habitat for Humanity, and other programs that give 
back to the community. Being linked to such programs 
would offer the parolee a sense of meaning, thus decreasing 
the likelihood of recidivism. 

We can no longer simply dump the offender back into 
society after years of incarceration. By doing so, we have 
built almost-certain failure into the system. When we 
release an individual, unimproved by his prison exposure, 
often into the environment from whence he came, with 
limited financial resources and impaired social skills, it will 
be a rare bird indeed who does not return to what he knows 
best, the criminal culture and crime, to support himself 
psychologically, financially, and socially. All we can hope 
for then is that he will be re-arrested, re-convicted, and re- 
incarcerated, all at great human and economic cost to our 

Too many lives are at jeopardy to not rehabilitate the 
segment of citizens that could continue to do something 
about our criminal justice system. It's time that we apply 
our human genius to the field of social sciences. If we can 
map the human brain, clone sheep, and invent weapons 
of mass destruction, then surely we can implement a 
rehabilitation model that will restore the sanity of society. 



wmn^m/u r » h^/ rj^^if r 

'CH/PXS UnU/B/PS nanT, ' 


Beyond the Tears 

Last night during my deepest and darkest hour of despair, I 
screamed, pleaded, and begged God to demolish the towering 
wall of torment and suffering that imprisons my mind, body, 
and soul. In my carnal thinking, I could not comprehend why 
God would not answer my vociferous prayers. My thoughts 
were permeated with shadows of doubt, yet in my heart I had 
conflicting feelings. I followed the innate instructions of my 
heart and diligently searched the blue and white clear sky that 
extended hundreds of miles beyond my sight. My strained eyes 
watered from the hours of searching for the city whose streets 
are paved of pure gold and whose walls are constructed of Jasper, 
Emerald, and Sapphire. 

In my exploration I didn't discover a throng of angelic beings 
walking on the transparent paved streets of gold; instead my 
incredulous dark blue eyes discovered an overflowing ocean of 
human tears. My broken body clung to the rock embankment as 
I peered over the 100 ft. cliff into the murky ocean where millions 
of tears had been dumped by lonely grief stricken humans. 

A strong east wind blew across my pale face and emaciated 
body as I fearfully watched 40 ft. waves of my life rise to a crest 
and then violently crash into the expansive ocean, creating a 
ripple effect to form across the body of water. The remaining 
daylight dissolved and now pitch-black darkness covered the 
Earth for what seemed like an eternity. As the darkest eve of the 
night approached, a deafening rumble of thunder exploded from 
the heavens and lightning bolts flashed across the dark sky. 

Seconds later a torrential down pouring of rain and hail 
marched upon my haggard face as my tears were lost in the 
storm. Paralyzed in this state of fear and sorrow, I languished on 
the 100 ft. cliff and rocky embankment dejected. My hollow eyes 
and heavy eyelids began to collapse as my spirit abandoned all 


As I surrendered and drifted away, I heard a distant song 
of hope emanating from the hundreds of multicolored parakeets 
soaring across the sky. I slowly opened my eyes and marveled 
at the shards of light as they obliterated the darkness. Beyond 
the 100 ft. embankment and human waste tears, a beautiful 
landscape emerged as sunlight radiated from the morning 
sunrise. A few feet away a family of Asian elephants and two 
small lion cubs wrestled and played in the bright green foliage. 
Thousands of rainbow colored butterflies emerged from their 
deprecating cocoons and soared into the open air of the clear 
blue sky. 

My clairvoyant eyes drifted out upon the endless sea of 
tears and saw written words formed from the shadows of the 
human shed tears. Thousands and thousands of words spawned 
from the most ultimate human suffering man and woman has 
ever known floated to the ocean's surface. ABANDONMENT, 
were just a few of the words that I could decipher among the 
vast cesspool of human carnage. 

I trembled and collapsed to my knees as I watched the words 
that imprisoned my mind, body, and soul evaporate under the 
scorching heat of the Son. My heart and soul began to restore 
as I serenaded the liberated parakeets' song of freedom. I had 
emerged and destroyed the prison bars that kept me captive. 

I smiled and chuckled as I realized that my prayers had 
been answered after all. My prayers asked God to deliver me 
from my incomprehensible adversity, instead I received the 
strength to face and transcend my human suffering like the 
proverbial phoenix. God answers each and every prayer request 
in two different fashions. Either He grants your request or He 
gives you the divine strength to endure and overcome your 


Dear The Beat 

Greetings, I want to introduce myself to all of the faithful readers 
of The Beat, I go by "Gonzo" cause it's short for my first name. I'm 
another statistic, what you would call a number, cause after all that is 
all we are, however I refuse to be part of the statistic that society has 
made me out to be. Yes, I am a Hispanic raised by a single mother, 
in poverty, and have always been a minority. Yes I looked up to the 
older homies in the hood as a father figure and later joined the gang. 
But what I am not, it another Hispanic male who will never amount 
to be anything. My story ain't any different than anyone else's. Truth 
be told, I've lived a hard life and I know many of your readers can 

Life is tough, but we seem to make it even tougher by the choices 
we make. 

I've come to accept the fact that life is like a roller coaster ride, it 
has its ups and downs, it's fun one minute and scary as hell the next, 
and of course it also has its unexpected twists and turns. I've read a 
lot of the literature written by some of your youth and my heart goes 
out to them. I know some desire a change in their lives and others 
are caught up in the street scene. 

I mentioned that we are statistics earlier. Society has calculated 
how we will end up in jail cells time and time again. They've figured 
out how many individuals will be laid in a grave at a very young age 
cause of the lifestyle they choose to live, teen pregnancy's, abortions, 
homeless and the list goes on. Very few people represent the 
numbers of those who will break the chains of bondage and succeed 
in life. Many people have given up on us cause they are convinced by 
the numbers/, the statistics, that we will never become productive 
members in our communities and society. 

I want to give a special thanks to the Beat for allowing individuals 
confined within four brick walls to express themselves in ways that 
they may perhaps not be used to, or were never given to opportunity 
to. I appreciate the support, advice and kind words you give our 
subscribers. I truly believe that your feedback is meant in a positive 
way, even if at times it may seem a little dole, keeping it real though 
everyone needs a little tough love every now and then. 

Thanks also to all of the sponsors and supporters who make The 
Beat possible, and a special thanks to the readers and writes of The 
Beat, cause at the end of every issue, and that is the fact that it's all 
about YOU! 

Heads up and down when you pray. 

With much love and respect! 

Our next writer is writing to u% from a Correctional Facility in 
Galium Bay, }Nsk. Gonzo is a recently new writer to The Beat Within. 
He really respects the work that we do and in return we respect 
the message he^ trying to convey for all the young people out there. 
Everybody has had hard life growing up, no matter what race, set or city 
we're from. We all have our own story to tell. So does Gonzo ^% he tells 
his story for all you readers out there with a very powerful message. So 

, ^% he delivers nothing but 
the honest truth. 


Living a life of pride, and struggling to survive. 

Crime doesn't pay, man that's a lie 

You reap what you sow, bro that's fo' sure 

I learned the hard way, locked behind closed doors 

In little jail cells, all by myself 

It's the price I paid, for striving for wealth 

Never once was it fun spending time alone 

My mama always cried when I didn't come home 

On her knees she prayed, that I'd change my ways 

The life that I was living I was digging my own grave 

I was too blind to see, my failures and mistakes 

I didn't realize that I was driving in stakes 

In both hands and feet, the price that was paid for me 

Even though I was blind, I came to believe 

In everlasting life, a place in paradise 

I took a chance with my life and I rolled the dice 

And now I look forward, to meeting this Christ 

When we come face to face on that judgment day 

I can only imagine what will be like that day 

Everlasting praise in the heavens above 

Blessed with his grace and filled with his love 

The everlasting love that he has for you and me 

All you've got to do my brothers, is come to believe 

Confess your sins to him while on bent knees 

I beg you this my brothers, please do it for me. 

///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^I^I^^^^^ ^Wii/j^'^JJJ IJJ. 

'MXHH^XL, Mf7ffHHf7SBi^' 

The Joy of Uokoowiflo 

My strength is to know my weakness, and to learn to live 
with my limitations. There is much that I don't know, and 
much that I'm ignorant of. Over a decade in prison, my 
entire adult life, has erected a thick wall between me and 
the actual reality of the free world. It helps me to remember 
that when I'm tempted to substitute "what is" for "what I 
think it is". For instance, when one of my coworkers tries to 
engage me on political topics, foreign affairs, social issues, 
and whatever else happens under the sun, I try to do more 
listening than speaking, and hope to remember that I don't 
have a good grasp or understanding about what is outside 
of my immediate experience. 

There is no shame in saying, "I don't know", or 
confessing my ignorance. What is regrettable is when my 
pride gets the best of me, and I try to pass my ignorance 
off as knowledge. In the words of Ecclesiastes, "See this is 
what I found, that God made human beings straightforward, 
but they have devised many schemes." 

The beginning of all my troubles was my self-assurance. 
I thought I knew what I was doing and where I was headed. 
The road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? Well, 
I was more than halfway there before I saw my foolishness 
for what it was, and with God's help made a U-turn. 

The same thing continues with me today, although 
on a lesser scale. For instance, I'm tempted to argue and 
debate issues as thought I know what I'm talking about, 
showcasing my opinion. I'll want to discuss the War in Iraq, 
while failing to heed the war in my own heart, and the war in 
the souls of those around me. Afterwards, I'll think, "What 
am I doing? I'm a non-citizen, a convicted felon, am not a 
voter, and have not made any positive contributions to this 
country. I've failed to govern my own life, so am I now going 
to dictate American foreign policy or criticize the decisions 
of others?". I speak as a prisoner, as a lifer, realizing that 
all of my rhetoric is nothing more a puffing up of my pride, 
and is counterproductive to my growth as a Christian. 

Instead of dealing with my issues, and facing my 
own mistakes, I have the nerve to point the finger at the 
Government, and tell others how they out to do their job. 
This is stupid. It wasn't the Government that brought me to 

Our next writer the infamous MM is writing to u% from Corcoran 
State Prison in Corcoran, California. Miichaii has been a very 
inspirational writer for The Beat Within for a long time now. He 
doesn't fail to miss ^n issue ^% he frequently delivers powerful words of 
wisdom through his pieces. In the upcoming piece Miichaii doesn't fail 
to mention the truth and the bottom line to life. Everyone wants to talk 
about politics, the war in Iraq, and how the government is all messed 
up, but nobody takes a look at them selves in the mirror and doesn't 
recognize their own flaws. Enough explanation from u%, just relax and 
indulge yourself with some real talk from one of our most respected 
Beat writers, Mikhail Markhasev. 

prison, but my own choices. 

I know that we live in a society with many serious 
issues. And I know that there is a general perception that 
we need to be "cuddled" from cradle to the grave, that 
someone owes us a free lunch, and that when we fail it's 
because someone, somewhere, somehow failed to do their 
part in preventing our failure. It's more complicated, but 
this isn't a new thought. It's the basic fact of living in a 
fallen world, where our perception is warped just-enough 
for us to see everyone else's mistakes, while conveniently 
avoiding our own. 

I do it all the time, and when it hits home, I'm like a 
dog that attacks the rock thrown at it by someone else- 
-while neglecting the actual source, the person who threw 
the stone. I wish things would be simpler, and we'd have a 
perfect, neat answer for all of the world's problems. I wish 
people would just beat their swords into plowshares, would 
hold hands the way the do in the movies, and everyone 
would be right. Parents would be great parents, children- - 
wonderful children, and governments would resemble the 
"Federation of Planets" of Star Trek, a Utopian dream where 
we magically outside today, walked through downtown or 
opened up a newspaper. 

It's clear that we face situations and problems which 
often defy logic, reason and common sense. In fact, I often 
act contrary to logic- -again- - thinking that I know what I'm 
doing. There are no easy solutions in a difficult world, but 
the easiest starting point is asking God for help to work on 
myself, so that I don't become what I myself condemn. At 
the end of the road of life, that's the biggest issue I need to 
concern myself with: becoming what I ought to be before 
the Lord, and be a part of the solution, not the problem. 



Time is counting now 

Young kids get shot down 

Now they chest burning from them hot rounds 

Police scared to come around 

They might get lost and not found 

So in the ghetto our souls drown 

Look at how the world molds babies now 

And hate is what our hearts hold now 

Wonder why we cold now 

Eyes full of coal now 

I'm tired of bullets but I'm ready to pull it 

I live in the city of dreams 

But that's just the cover, it's really the city of schemes 

Where money makes you do crazy things 

Where ninjas'U kill for the bling 

All because they fiends 

Where they pop pills and let them choppas sing 

I'm so tired of struggling 

Let's do a robbery is what them demons be telling me 

But I shine light on my DARK-SIDE 

Darkside, is not new 

to The Beat. But unlike the sad POW poems he wrote while at Sstn 
Francisco's Log Cabin Ranch, he is now writing at a computer in The 
Beat office. So join u% in welcoming back Darkside^ powerful poetry, 
and pray that he is able to turn a painful past into a brighter future. 

I know he mad 'cause I got a job 

So in my mind he makes me think I got to rob 

His poison is strong in my veins 

But being in jail is stronger than his pain 

When my homie died, 

I learned that gang-banging is only a game 

I live in a world full of opportunity but chances are slim 

because of my color 

Wandering the streets was me, a boy with no mother 

A world where drugs was my big brother 

And where thugs don't associate with others 

Gotta teach myself how to be a lover 

Tryin' to dodge the devil but he slicker than butter 

But maybe I can be quicker than the others 

I am not like the others; it's something that's inside me 

Something that was meant to be 

Shhh! This is destiny. 

///////#/////,/// ////#/ //,//////// 

^^^^■HI^JHOKK/ / ^IV/y/// 

'M/?. LfUnBSnMB' 


Living a life of pride, and struggling to survive, 

Crime doesn't pay, man that's a lie 

You reap what you sow, bro that's fo' sure 

I learned the hard way, locked behind closed doors 

In little jail cells, all by myself 

It's the price I paid, for striving for wealth 

Never once was it fun spending time alone 

My mama always cried when I didn't come home 

On her knees she prayed, that I'd change my ways 

The life that I was living I was digging my own grave 

I was too blind to see, my failures and mistakes 

I didn't realize that I was driving in stakes 

In both hands and feet, the price that was paid for me 

Even though I was blind, I came to believe 

In everlasting life, a place in paradise 

I took a chance with my life and I rolled the dice 

And now I look forward, to meeting this Christ 

When we come face to face on that judgment day 

I can only imagine what will be like that day 

Everlasting praise in the heavens above 

Blessed with his grace and filled with his love 

The everlasting love that he has for you and me 

All you've got to do my brothers, is come to believe 

Confess your sins to him while on bent knees 

I beg you this my brothers, please do it for me. 

BecominoaMan, Parti 

I can see your face I can hear your voice 

I know you are there but I can't touch you 

I can smell you put me to sleep at night 

You wake me to eat 

I need you I want you 

I get mad at myself because I had a lot of times to say 

what was on my mind 

But I did not because I wasn't sitting right at that time 

So I began to work hard, because playing was out the 


It was time to get for real 

Because I was out to get my angel, and that's for real 

Dedicated to Che-Che. 

Our next writer is new to The Beat Within and was introduced 
by our good friend Lester. Mr. Lonesome is also writing to u% from 
Columbia Correctional institution in Raiford, Fla. Mr. Lonesome is 
writing with sole intentions on pouring his heart and soul for everyone 
to hear him out. So without further or do we're gonna let Mr. Lonesome 
introduce himself. 

Dear The Beat 

Greetings, I want to introduce myself to all of the faithful 
readers of The Beat, I go by "Gonzo" cause it's short for 
my first name. I'm another statistic, what you would call a 
number, cause after all that is all we are, however I refuse 
to be part of the statistic that society has made me out 
to be. Yes, I am a Hispanic raised by a single mother, in 
poverty, and have always been a minority. Yes I looked up 
to the older homies in the hood as a father figure and later 
joined the gang. But what I am not, it another Hispanic 
male who will never amount to be anything. My story ain't 
any different than anyone else's. Truth be told, I've lived a 
hard life and I know many of your readers can relate. 

Life is tough, but we seem to make it even tougher by 
the choices we make. 

I've come to accept the fact that life is like a roller 
coaster ride, it has its ups and downs, it's fun one 
minute and scary as hell the next, and of course it also 
has its unexpected twists and turns. I've read a lot of the 
literature written by some of your youth and my heart 
goes out to them. I know some desire a change in their 
lives and others are caught up in the street scene. 

I mentioned that we are statistics earlier. Society has 
calculated how we will end up in jail cells time and time 
again. They've figured out how many individuals will be 
laid in a grave at a very young age cause of the lifestyle they 
choose to live, teen pregnancy's, abortions, homeless and 
the list goes on. Very few people represent the numbers of 
those who will break the chains of bondage and succeed 
in life. Many people have given up on us cause they are 
convinced by the numbers/, the statistics, that we will 
never become productive members in our communities 
and society. 

I want to give a special thanks to the Beat for allowing 
individuals confined within four brick walls to express 
themselves in ways that they may perhaps not be used 
to, or were never given to opportunity to. I appreciate the 
support, advice and kind words you give our subscribers. 
I truly believe that your feedback is meant in a positive 
way, even if at times it may seem a little dole, keeping it 
real though everyone needs a little tough love every now 
and then. 

Thanks also to all of the sponsors and supporters 
who make The Beat possible, and a special thanks to the 
readers and writes of The Beat, cause at the end of every 
issue, and that is the fact that it's all about YOU! 

Heads up and down when you pray. 

With much love and respect! 

Too MoGi) Time 

Time, that's all I really have is time. Time to think about 
all the things I did wrong in one life, but then there are 
times when I can smile, these are the times. I'm thinking 
about you. Thanking the creator for the beauty he place 
on you, but there are times when I can sing like a bird. 
There are times when I'm blue as a little kid nose, because 
I can't have you in my arms. 

///////#/////,/// ////#/ //,//////// 

^T/^Twnimmm^m A ji r - # / / / / / / 

'M/?, L^nnSSHMB canr' 

To The Beat Within 

This is Mr. Lonesome. I have been reading my roommates, 
Beat Within paper, and I am like many, behind bars in 
Columbia Correctional Institution here in Florida. I have 
been reading many people like myself, pour out their 
hearts in moving poems or letters, and I have a message. 
I want to be heard by many of mothers, fathers, sisters 
and brothers that's down and out. They might think that 
no one can feel their pain, but I can feel it. If I can write 
something that can touch just one of them people I would 
be giving back my talent to the creator. I would also be 
righting some of the wrong I have done. 

They haven't came, up with nothing like The Beat 
Within here, in Florida, because they want society to look 
at us as being good for nothing. But your paper hit those 
same people who turn their nose up at us with something 
real. We were just dealt a bad hand in life. We just needed 
a chance to put our feelings down, and your paper let's us 
do that and in a good way. 

So I would love to let your readers read my work, or 
the person I become when I pick up my pen work. I want 
you guys to meet Mr. Lonesome because you guys will be 
seeing a lot of his work soon. Thank you! Guys for all of 
your hard work and I'll be waiting to hear from you in the 
near future. So keep your head up. 

The Baiiinp of a Reiationship 

Making a relationship is just like baking a cake if 
something is missing in a cake is no going back to fix 
it, that can go to the same way with a relationship if 
something is missing in the beginning is no going back 
to fix it. And sometimes the whole relationship turnout 
bad, because cake don't taste good without sugar and the 
cake don't raise right without the eggs. 

In the relationship the sugar is the two of you coming 
together and given to each other needs. I call that the 
sweet times because with that you have given yourself 
up to each other. The milk is you raising together 
strengthening the relationship that come from been real 
at all times, telling the truth and boating down to each 
others needs and wants and having respect for each 
others ways. The egg is the two of you not falling down to 
the little things of this world lust and money, and what's 
a cake without its icing. 

The icing is the sweets of you having someone to 
shake yourself with and you can make a cake taste like 
you want it to taste by putting in a little of your soul as 
the flavor, and that's the two of you sharing oneself and 
becoming whole together. So go out and start finding that 
right person to make your cake with and who knows you 
might make them together. 

Caged and trapped in this two mao ceil 

Life in a box it's nothing but hell 

How do this happen I ask myself why? 

But I'm gonna thug to the heart so I never cry 

But even thugs cry is what I hear 

But I'm surrounded by gangsta cutthroats wit' no fear 

So I hold my mug wit' a chip on my shoulder 

But my heart grows cold as my world gets colder 

Wasco State Prison is my new home 

Only for a short minute until I parole 

Been a gangsta all my life but my life is in shambles 

Spend more time lockdown posted up in some shackles 

I'd rather be free with Jordans on my feet 

But I chose to gang bang and say screw the streets 

And now I'm here stressin' lost everything I've gained 

No money, no love, my heart is in chains 

I'm 27 years young, been trapped since a very young teen 

Behind these walls going on like thirteen 

Group homes, the halls, camps to YA. 

This life style we live is like modern day slavery 

We get locked up to make these cops more gravy 

Educate ourselves should be our war cry 

Get money the right way let's open our eyes 

One love to the youth. 

'L,Bn /?aD/?xnuBS' 

Our next writer is writing to u% from a correctional facility in 
Wasco, CA. Leo is light-weight new to The Beat Within magazine. 
Leo is talcing big steps sk% he is trying to leave the gang life and start 
up a new chapter in his life in which he would like to let all you readers 
out there know that this isn't life/living. All you young folks out there 
are probably thinking like, I'm too young for something like that to 
happen to me, and we bet that we all don't picture ourselves being 30 
or maybe even 40 years old and living in a small cell in the state pen. 
But guess what? If y'all keep going down that path that you're going 
down, then you will end up there. - 
his knowledge and love to u% readers. 

I'd rather he free 
with lordaMs om mtf feet 

Words Of WisdoDi 

My name is Leo Rodriguez. I'm 27 years old and been 
doing this for a minute. I've recently come across your 
magazine and was surprised at all the youth hungry for 
knowledge about life. I just recently dropped out from 
my gang as a Fresno Bulldog, and would like to help out 
any way I can to help youth stay away from this place. I 
would also like for you to send me an issue every week if 
possible just let me know the cost. Thank you 



wmn^m/u r » h^/ rj^^if r 

'T¥i^B/? nxunnx' 


New California Facilities [It Malies Sense] 

I was reading a news article the other day and it stated 
that all felony suspects will be subject to DNA logging and 
placed into the criminal database until proven innocent. 
Now when and if the suspected felon gets proven innocent 
the file will get taken out of the database. If you believe the 
government as much as I do, you probably highly doubt this 
statement of removing the files. If I'm not mistaken, people 
are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. This new 
law seems to me like the government is saying, "you're a 
criminal until proven otherwise." X-raided said it pretty 
good, "I'm guilty till proven innocent." 

Why has this come about? To me it seems like its just 
another way for the government to keep control of the 
citizenry. More and more it seems like we are becoming 
a police state here in California. This law comes at the 
perfect time for a society where the criminal element is 
apparently growing and increasing. If I'm not mistaken, a 
survey came out a couple months ago stating that one out 
of every 100 males is incarcerated. The land of the free is 
quickly becoming the land of the incarceration. 

Not only did this new law amaze me, but what also 
caught my attention was the $10 million facility California 
is building to accommodate the supposed one million new 
DNA files they will be receiving on behalf of this new law- 
interesting. This facility is supposed to be completed in 
July of this year. I though we had a fiscal budget deficit 
of $6 billion in this golden state for this year and just as 
bad next year? Maybe were not in a state of emergency 
financially. But the economy may say otherwise. This to me 
just shows where our countries heart is at. While the state 
cuts school funding, art programs, section eight funding, 
not to mention rehabilitation programs and all sorts of jobs, 
that can help lower criminal activity, we still continues to 
build facilities to either house incarcerated people or build 
the facilities to house the files and staff to incarcerate the 

It amazes me also that the only solution they can find 
for the overcrowded judicial system is simply build more 
prisons. When we make more beds then those beds will 
be filed. It is illogical to think they will build facilities so 
they can sit vacant and unused, this simply won't happen. 
They say "why don't we move the inmates out of state?" 
8,000 of the proposed out of state transfers will not even 
dent an 180,000 inmate population. This also to me seems 
like a counter productive move in rehabilitation. A major 
part of rehabilitation is creating a strong family home or 
ties to people who care in the community the inmate will 
be released to. If you move people out of state, how can 
they even fathom getting acquainted with a community 
miles away? A good example is my friend. He is doing a 

Our next writer is writing to u% from Solano County Jail in 
Fairfield, California, lyier is not new to The Beat Within. He often 
drops knowledge and some game for all you readers out there, lyier is 
a great writer that brings a lot of insight on life. In his upcoming piece 
he does a great job of bringing it to u% raw and uncut and describing 
his emotions. He also has a piece on the prison system and his political 
views on Corporate America. So lend your ear for a second and give 
lyier a read. 

3 Vi year term at Soledad. They were talking about giving 
him a transfer to somewhere out east. All he has is our 
people and a family ,which can not travel. This transfer 
would destroy what little he has established for himself out 
here. This just does not seem like a proper solution to take 
him somewhere where he will have a minimal to no support 

Recently, an expansion for the jail I'm housed in was 
not approved. The county wanted another 500 plus beds, at 
the cost of millions, to ease the overcrowding. This project 
would take a couple of years to construct and finance. 
On top of this long-term dilemma, the projected climb of 
inmates to be incarcerated in this county by the time the 
beds are made for exceeds the number of beds they plan to 
build. How does this make sense in a logical mind? 

So, with a horribly overcrowded judicial system, 
coupled with a horribly under budgeted state government, 
what could be a solution? Why don't they try rehabilitating 
the inmate? Building beds doesn't fix the problem, it just 
creates space for more inmates. 

I read in a book by Elliot Currie, called "crime and 
punishment," and it had a report about a survey they did 
with a group of inmates back east. They took a controlled 
group of inmates and split them into three sub-groups. One 
group just got sentenced to prison and was offered nothing 
but the cellblock. The second group was put in prison but 
given programs to help them with their specific needs in 
life to help them become better people. The third group 
was sent to prison, given programs and then sent to a good 
functioning half way house in a good community. 

Guess what the recidivism, violation, rate was? For the 
first group it was above 75%. For the second group it was 
above 50%. For the third group it was around 25%. Now this 
to me sounds like it can work. A sad fact is a lot of people 
are re-offenders. See, we need to fix the problem where it 
begins not just deal with the after affects. But, hey, I'm an 
inmate too, so what do I know? We have no cure all for 
society and that is what society wants. Society is scared of 
the "criminal" because the government makes them that 
way. It goes back to control. They want to control a large 
group of the population, with fear and imprisonment. They 
make millions off the system, so why would those whose 
pockets are getting lined by locking people up want to stop? 
It makes sense. 

Who We'll Miss 

Sitting back in the cell, got time to reminisce 

Thinking about all the times I spent 

All the times I went a miss 

D-millz, pops is gone 

Dennis is who we'll miss 

Was tight with the fam, till the drugs got out of hand 

Another story so sad 

Now I'm still locked down, coming up on three years 

I wasn't there for my brother 

I couldn't help dry his tears 

Now another boy is getting hit 

Got another man so sick 

We was all real tight, now I pray for them at night 
Nothing for me to do, I sit back and wish it wasn't true 

Not to long ago my auntie sis went away 

I trust in god and know she found a better place to stay 

Life is to short, yet we steady wasting our days 

Since age of 12 I've been playing in this game 

Now I'm just barely coming of age 

22, life's been a daze 

As I sit in this cell, thinking about this life in jail 

I feel I fell for the lies, now I pay the price 

As my loved ones cried, as my loved ones died 

I couldn't be there to offer my hand 

I couldn't be there to play the man 

RIP Aunty, Sis, and Dennis. 

///////#/////,/// ////#/ //,//////// 

^I^I^^^^^^^ ^W*j!J., l£LU/JJ. 

'MXnHf^BL, Mn/<xnnB¥' 

The Product of our Euvironuient 

We as the people and the kids that are growing up is 
the product of our environment. And just in case you 
readers don't know what I mean by the product of our 
environment. It's whatever kind of environment one come 
up in is violent. Then the young one's would grow up with 
a violent mindset. If these young one's grow up seeing 
their mother and father using drugs all the time. Then 
once these kids get old enough to do what kind of drugs 
they mother and father are using. They turn to using the 
same kind of drugs. 

Feeling like ain't nothing wrong with using drugs 
because the ones the look up to use them. And they 
see how drugs are being used and sold all around the 
environment they are coming up in. And this is what 
helping the younger one's of today become the product of 
they environment. Always seeing they mother and father 
fighting each other. They would become the product of 
the things they environment produce to them. Unsafe sex, 
using drugs, drinking, violence, and carrying guns. Using 
guns for all the wrong reason. To kill and take from the 
hard working. So far the one's who have kids to raise up 
need to pay close attention to them. And the environment 
that they are brought up in. 

/ k^ew what respect was, 
BecMse wtf mother a^dgra^d- 
mother had taught me some 


I hear talk about respect. Here in prison I hear all the 
time people talk all the time about they want respect. 
But they don't have any self-respect. And they don't 
have respect for the next man. And they don't have the 
slightest idea where respect comes from. And I can tell 
the way they carry them selves, and deal with those who 
are around them. That they don't have any self respect. 
But these are the same one's who demand respect from 
other. And I came to prison here in Florida in the year of 
1985. It's been almost 23 years ago. And I was only 14 
teens years old. 

But even at that age I knew what respect was. Because 
my mother and grandmother had taught me some respect. 
And I saw how they use to treat and deal with people. So 
that somewhat gave me an idea as to what respect was. 
And when I first came to prison people had a lot of respect 
for each other. Of course you had some disrespect going 
on. But a lot of respect was always there amongst the 
officer and inmates. How am I suppose to respect went 
I don't know. I have been in the pen for 20 years this go 

And over the years I have watched the respect drift 
away up out of the prison system. And it done got so 
disrespectful, unto doing time like this. Is very hard 
because all they understand is when I deal with them 
on they level. And that's a disrespecting level. They 
don't know how important it is to have great respect for 
everything and everyone. 

Our next writer is writing to u% from Union Correctional Institution 
in Raiford, Florida. Michael MicKinney is part of a small group of 
writers that consistently drop knowledge for all you young and old 
readers out there to soak up. So just make like a sponge and soak up 
some game from Michael! 

Being Apart Of My Paius 

Being apart of me you must be willing to be apart of the 
pain I feel. You must understand that my pains are real. 
They been apart of me for so many years. Without my 
pains I would have never made it this far in life. My pains 
are what I have learned so much from. And they make 
me think twice. My pains make me look deeply into the 
past mistakes. I have stumble over time after time. And 
my pains are what makes me care, even when times are 
hard. And even when the hand that's been dealt to me is 
not fair. So if someone else is going to care for me, they 
have to be apart of my pains because they come along 
with me. 

And you have people who want to be my friend. But 
they don't want to be friends with the pain I feel. Because 
sometimes my pains make me act out in a angry way. 
And people look at that in a bad. But my pains are real. 
They are something I will always feel. And I will always 
be willing to be apart of my pains because they remind 
me of what I have been through. They remind me of what 
I may have to go trough in the future. My pains are what I 
learn from. They teach me. They school me. They are my 
struggles. So being apart of me is being apart of my pains. 
Because is no way around them. 

I'm Nut liviuo Like That 

My nickname is Mike Mike, and I have been incarcerated 
for the last 20 years. And I have more then life to spend 
in the Florida Prison System. And I'm saying all this to 
say a lot more things. Now I was sent back to Florida 
State Prison in the year of 1992. And at that time Florida 
prison was one of the most strict and locked down prison 
in the state of Florida. It's an all one-man cell prison. 
That house close management lock down convicts. And 
with the mindset I had some years back. When I was 
much younger, I was wild and did not to let the prison 
system break me. And I was not about to take no shhh 
from anyone else. I got into a lot of fights, always had run- 
ins with the prison guards. And things like this kept me 
locked down on close management. 

Then in 1996 1 was placed back on close management. 
And right now today I am still locked down on close 
management and has been for the last 12 and a half years. 
And I just live the way I had to live. I never use to use 
the saying I'm living like that. Or no one else's. But time 
has brought about a change in Florida State Prison. And 
has brought about a change in close management lock 
down at the East unit. It's a whole new wave mindset. And 
a whole new wave system. Because right here in close 
management I here all time from these new wave inmates. 
I'm living like that. I will kill you. I did this and that. 

I'm on CM. for jumping on a prison guard. I'm living 
that. And I hear this saying all the time from the young 
inmates who are on Close Management lock down I'm 
living like that. And these same inmates want even stand 
up for they rights in prison. But they always talking about 
how fights they done been in. and about all the ruthless 
things they done on the streets. And now tell myself 
I'm living like that. I see a lot in putting up a struggle to 
change my life. I don't want to keep living like that. 



wmn^m/u r » h^/ rj^ffn r 

'MnTHnn¥ ii^/<b/7' 


Unite Our Youth 

Greetings, people. Today I wish to share a bit more on 
way unity of our youth is so important, not only in this 
country but all over the world. The conflict we fight is 
not between black and white but between humanity and 
inhumanity. We must take note in the real sense of these 
words. This epidemic of hatefulness by racist America 
has an intentional and ironic meaning. It is a response to 
the visible strides our people have made in this society in 
the last 50 years. 

The point is simply this. People are not scared 
anymore. Generations, meaning our youth, have waged 
an ongoing struggle to force this country to reckon with 
our humanity because if we stop for a moment and take a 
look at the decades long harvest of strange fruit, America 
must reckon with the fact that their game to kill off 
our youth has ultimately failed, and also to render our 
communities silent and compliant to their rules, has also 
failed completely. 

What is needed is that we target those who are flooding 
the prison system with our youth, while at the same 
time understand that the key to saving our youth is to 
empower them through education. The more uneducated 
and impoverished our youth are, the more America floods 
the prison system with our youth. People, there's an old 
adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, 
being our current legal system and penal institutions, but 
if we focus on unity and more dollars in real education, 
especially for our youth in our communities, we will reap 
greater rewards, which will be a signiflcant reduction 
of funds to the penal system which houses 95% of our 

Putting our youth in prison was never meant to rescue 
the poor or enlighten the illiterate or make the sick well. 
America's action toward our youth is, "lock them up." We 
don't lack the knowledge for solving this problem, but the 
question we face is whether before we continue to allow 
America to lock away our youth, will we be honest and 
acknowledge the truth and put together all 
our resources to vanquish this problem 
that continues to give rise in the flrst 
place. By educating those incarcerated 
or not, we will ultimately be shaping 
our youth into positive role models for 
our youth and their communities. 

Through my own life experiences, 
and as I sit in prison at the moment, 
I cannot only help salvage today's 
youth but be of great assistance in 
decreasing the urban gang violence. 
But most sadly in our communities 
the youth are throwing away their 
lives. If they are not going to the 
morgues, then it's to the many 
prisons throughout the U.S. in 
record numbers. 

I was one of those youth in 
prison, but now at the age of 52 
years I know we can and must put 
a stop to this. If not, once again 
we will lose another and another 
generation of youth. So, please, 
stop and unite; knowledge is 
power and the only way to save our 
youth. Dare to struggle, dare to win, 
which we can. 

Anthony Baker, a writer very familiar to our pages, is writing to u% 
from a correctional facility in Vacaville, CA. Anthony is writing with 
hopes to reach all you readers out there who are struggling with living 
that life that's only gonna keep you coming back to four walls. He has 
a few pieces he would like to share talking about unity and trying to 
%skMe this generation. So listen up and give Anthony your attention sk% 
he delivers the messages from behind those walls loud and clear. 


Message frum Behiud the Wall 

I'd like to paraphrase from the one, Devon Brown, a former 
head commissioner of the Department of Corrections in 
New Jersey. He stated that prisons of today are American 
new slave plantations. This is a very true fact of today's 
prison system. 

Young people, the Department of Corrections in this 
country is warehousing people of color - men, women, 
and our children. With these so-called widespread 
sentencing laws and the disparities minorities face within 
the judicial system, the Department of Corrections and 
the contracted private corporations are making millions 
through decimation of people of color. 

The Department of Corrections and the contracted 
private corporations are one of the main reasons why 
the revolving door, or recidivism, is spinning at such an 
alarming rate. Our youth must understand that the prison 
system is "Big Money" meaning crime and prisoners are 
needed for this industry to continually prosper financially. 
I speak these words to all the youth from behind prison 
walls. Here at Vacaville Prison, I seek to educate our 
youth through my own incarceration within the system 
at present. 

Young people do not fall victim to the concrete coffins 
called the Department of Corrections. We must break 
through the culturally imposed prisons throughout the 
world; we must take the initiative to educate our 
youth _^^i^ts-* A ^^^ show them how to be 

instrumental in 

\ reestablishing family 

I values in all people of 

< color, plus get back 

/ our pride, not as one 

^ but as a collective. 

\ The future belongs to 

\ those who believe in 

^ their dreams. Prison is 

/' not a place of dreams, 

but are cemeteries of 

t ^ terror and fear and profit 

for the world's contracted 

, f r ^^^ private corporations. 

In closing, allow me to 

i share a personal thought with you. There 

' / is a deadness here in prison that eludes me, 

but since I have devoted myself to educating 

our youth, not to get trapped in one of the many 

i prisons throughout the world. I feel my life's 

strength fiowing back into me. My step, the tread 

of my stride, which was becoming tentative and 

uncertain, has now begun to recover a definiteness, 

a confidence, and a boldness to stand up and help 

our youth claim that which is their birthright. 

So my role as a Black man in prison is to educate 

our youth and participate in the social development of all 

people of color because my concept is complementary, 

which means one who is complete or make perfect that 

which is imperfect. So dare to struggle, dare to win, 

knowledge is power... 


///////#/////,/// ////#///,//////// 

^T/^Twnimmm ^mA ji / '^^^// .f.^ 

'f7nTHnn¥ H^HB/? canr. ' 

Keep Your Head Up 

The time that I wanted is my biggest regret 

Spent in these places I'll never forget 

Just sitting here thinking of things that I've done 

The cryin', the laughin', the hurt and the fun 

Can anyone see the cards I was dealt 

All the shhh I've been through and the hurt I felt 

I'm trapped in my body just wanting to run 

Back to my youth with all its laughter and fun 

I'm looking at much time and it's adding more stress in 

my life 

With reality suddenly in my face 

I admit I'm scared and I'm stuck in this place 

I feel like I'm trapped in these ghosted walls 

How memories of my past flash through my head 

I sometimes ask myself why and whence did I go wrong 

I guess I was weak when I should have been strong 

As I look back on my past so easy to see 

The fear that I have, I was afraid to be me 

Painted to be hardcore, so far, so cool 
When actually lost like a blinded old fool 

I'm tired of playin' this game 

Of actin' hard with no sense of shame 

But I know I can make it, though 

I'm still in the strive 

We've made it this far and still we keep our heads up 

'Cause from what we seen, we are all we got 

When you start to think otherwise 

Keep in mind, life ain't easy 

We can stand up against the best of the best 

And rely on each other and even cry on each other 

But remember, keep your head up. Baby. 

Unity (Part 2) 

Our enemy can never be driven out by words alone, 

no matter how sound the argument, 

nor can the enemy be driven out by force alone; 

but words of truth and justice fully backed by armed 

power of knowledge 

will certainly drive the enemy out. 

When right and wrong are on the same side, what enemy 

can hold out... 

- these words are by Ngugi Wa Thiong'o, 1987. 

The Truth Hurts 

If your reading this, it may be because your life style has 
been leading you to a dead end road. I've been down that path 
and crashed. At the age of 15 I was arrested for murder and 
given two life sentences for a crime I didn't do, (13) thirteen 
years later I'm now 28 years old and it's getting harder for 
lifers to get out of prison. Like some of you, I didn't take 
life serious, I didn't think "I" would ever get life in prison, 
I thought I was the exemption to the rule. But like people 
who get in car crashes none of us plan to crash in life. Life 
should be taken serious and thoroughly thought out. We all 
know drugs are bad for you, even alcohol can kill you, gang 
banging is plain and simple a game of Russian roulette with 
your life. 

So why do we indulge in this behavior? This is what you 
have to ask yourself. It's a little late for me but you still have 
the chance to save yourself from yourself. When I was young, 
I didn't like myself a lot of the time, I was unsatisfied with 
family, financial instability, and my sloe ability to learn. But 
instead of confronting myself and trying to grow, I hid my low 
self-esteem in the false image of a gang banger and disguised 
my mental shortcomings under the influence of drugs, 
toppled with caring to much what other people thought of 

At the age of 15 I didn't fully grasp the consequences of 
my actions. I was indifferent to other people's pain, nor did I 
understand the definition of the law, of how a small role in a 
crime can cost you the rest of you life, in what seemed like 
the blink of an eye. Some of you may not care about your 
life now, but the day "will" come when you make peace with 
yourself, it may take some time and some hard experiences 
but that day will come whether you're out there, or doing life 
in here, or on a wheel chair. 

Why wait 'till it's to "analyze yourself" and understand 
why you "think"," act" and "like" the things you do. Are you 
A product of your environment, do you admire courage or 
compassion? Why? Perhaps you come from an ancestry of 
warriors like the Aztecs and have the misconception that to 
be brave and a modern day warrior is in your blood. If you 
want to fight a cause in life and have a sense of purpose, 
fight the cause of being a truth seeker. Don't be a follower, 
living in someone else's shadow, be unique, be yourself, but 
first you must confront your demons. That's the beginning of 
changing your life, is knowing yourself. Take it from a lifer. 
I've been there. 

'li/Xl^l^XB ffMMX^B^' 

Corcoran, Ca. We haven't heard from Willie in awhile sk% we lost 
contact with him for a couple of years. But he's back with some 
wisdom and knowledge. Willie is a lifer who wants to let all you readers 
out there know that if you keep going down that destructive path you 
might end up like him. Willie really comes from the heart in his piece 
and is really trying to reach out to all the youth out there. So we're 
gonna let Willie light weight introduce himself! 

To: The Beat Within 

Greetings! My name is Willy Ramirez and I am interested 
in giving my advice and opinion from time to time in The 
Beat Within Magazine. It's been approximately (4) four 
years since I've read one of your magazines, I'm not even 
sure if you're still publishing. 

I'm 28 years old and I've been incarcerated on this life 
sentence since the age of 15 for a gang related murder 
in which I was only present. A lot of teens are losing 
their lives to gangs and drugs, and the Judicial System 
doesn't seem to have a solution to the problem or often 
doesn't even care for our young lost children and are only 
concerned with their image of being hard on crime. Thus 
trying kids as adults, ruining futures or making them 

I wish I had someone who could have played a part 
in redirecting my life before I caught this sentence. I can 
only hope that I can influence the thinking of our troubled 
youth for the better and prevent another kid from getting 
life in prison. 

At the age of 15 1 didn't 
f^llif grasp the coMse- 
(lifeMces ofmif actioMs. 



wmn^m/u r » h^/ rj^ffn r 

'HB/7IIB/7T H. SnHU/BXnB/7T' 


Is Oil the Motive for War? 

America has come to a crossroad. You must understand 
that power is linked, in world politics, to oil. And, as 
the greatest industrial nation on Earth, America has an 
insatiable appetite for oil. When coal was the number one 
energy in the world. Great Britain ruled the world. She had 
the greatest deposits of coal. But, when the power to move 
engines moved from coal to oil, England and America began 
vying for control of the places on this earth that produce 

Who are the rogue states that America says does not 
like and let's see how oil is connected here. Consider Libya 
in North Africa. This little desert country, where most of 
the people live along the coast, has the sweetest crude 
oil. There's a song of the armed service branch of the U.S. 
Marine Corps that starts with the verse, "from the halls of 
Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli." Where's Tripoli? "We 
will fight our country's battles on the land and on the sea." 
What are you doing over there? Did these people bother 
you? No. They have oil. America had military bases there. 
What for? Oil! They had a king named Idris and Muammar 
Gadhafi, as a young man in a bloodless coup, overthrew the 
king and then kicked the British out, the Americans out, 
and nationalized the oil. Now he could raise the standard of 
living of all the Libyans and with money left over he could 
aid the liberation struggle of people all over the world. 
America got highly upset with that. 

"You're messing with us, our needs, and profits, 
Gadhafi. You're a terrorist." Iraq has a lot of oil and next 
door is Iran, which has lots of oil. In Iran, there was a man 
by the name of Mohammed Mossadegh and he, like Gadhafi, 
also nationalized the oil. He also wanted the use of the oil 
to raise the living standards of the Iranian people. 

What's wrong with that? There's nothing wrong with 
that to most people's eyes, but something was wrong with 
that in the eyes and corrupt greedy hearts of the rich and 
powerful. So they organized the coup and overthrew him 
and placed a man on the throne called the Shah of Iran, 
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. As that was their man in Iran, 
they gave him weapons, modern planes. Though he was a 
Muslim, he was not really deep into the Islamic religion. 
So, under him, the religion suffered; the people who wanted 
their religion to come back to purity started organizing. 
The leader of that was Imam Khomeini. 

Look at the map of the Middle Eastern part of the world. 
In Saudi Arabia, there is a whole lot of oil. President Franklin 
D. Roosevelt struck up a good relationship with the king 
and ARAMCO (Arabian American Oil Company) had access 
to all this oil. The kings lived well, they did well for their 
people, but there was no democracy. America doesn't care 
anything about that, just keep pumping the oil. 

Like junkies need their drugs, America is an oil junkie. 
She, like drug addicts, doesn't care how she gets it. She 
must have it. Did you know that they found the largest 
deposit of oil anywhere in the world? Yup. Guess where 
they found it... in the southern Sudan. And what America 
is trying to do is foster the revolution to break off the 
southern Sudan from the Islamic regime in Khartoum so 
that America can have access to the oil. But they say it's 
them Moslems killings Christians, making slaves of these 
people in the south. America sent arms to Eritrea and 
Ethiopia and Uganda. So all along the border of Sudan, war 
was started with Sudan. But something happened. Eritrea 
started using her weapons against Ethiopia and vice versa. 
So Eritrea and Ethiopia couldn't give the Sudan the trouble 
that America had wanted. 

Herbert B. Schweigert, a regular contributor to The Beat from 
Crossroads Correctional Center in Cameron, MO, shares his views, 
faith, and creative work. Thanks, Herbert! 

You don't know these things because you don't travel, 
you're not interested, because the foreign policy is not for 
the common American. And that we have to change. If the 
American people knew, foreign policy would reflect that 
which is better for the American people. 

Let's go to Nigeria. There's some sweet oil here. Do you 
know what America tried to do? They tried to separate the 
eastern region and call it Biafra, which in turn started a 
civil war in Nigeria, causing thousands upon thousands of 
lives to be lost because of American foreign policy. Let's go 
back to Afghanistan. Do you see this place called Baku? Oil 
has been coming out of this area for years. But the Soviet 
Union had control of the oil in Kazakhstan, in Uzbekistan, 
and in Tajikistan. All this area the Soviet Union had. 

Have you ever heard of Zbigiew Brzezinski? Zbigniew 
got us in trouble. He was the national security adviser 
under President Jimmy Carter. Guess what. Did you know 
that in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan, some twenty years 
ago the Muslims, women were in government. They were in 
school, they were in medicine. But something was wrong 
with Afghanistan. Do you know what was wrong? The 
government in Kabul leaned more toward the Soviet Union. 
They were Muslims, but they had a socialist leaning that 
America didn't like. So Zbigniew Brzezinski and American 
policy sent money into Afghanistan to destabilize the 
government in Kabul. When they brought up and paid for 
opposition to the government in Kabul, Russia (the Soviet 
Union) sent their troops into Afghanistan and the war 

When the war started, Osama Bin Laden was in Arabia 
growing up. He loves Islam, he loves Muslims, he sees 
the Soviet Union taking over Afghanistan and there's war 
in Afghanistan to get the Soviet Union out and America 
says, "We're going to back those Muslim Mujahedeen." So 
American money and American weapons trained them and 
they drove the Soviet Union out after ten years of war, which 
left Afghanistan in total ruins. Then they look to America 
to help them, but America backed out and left them in 
that condition and a civil war broke out in Afghanistan. 
The country is already in ruins, now a civil war. Then you 
have the Taliban that comes to power and they want a pure 
Islamic state. 

I read a book written by two Frenchmen called Osama 
Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth and they said that early 
on in the Bush administration, he was negotiating with the 
Taliban. They wrote that the president said [the Taliban] 
were a source of stability. Why was he negotiating? Let me 
tell you. All of this, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, this is oil. 
And guess what... a company called UNOCAL (Union Oil 
Company of California) owns 75% of the oil up here. And 
what they wanted was a pipeline to come down through 
Afghanistan into Pakistan into the Arabian Sea, the Indian 
Ocean, as an outlet for the oil of that area. The Taliban 
didn't agree. 

Back in July an American representative met with the 
Taliban, sometimes in the UN, sometimes right in Peshawar, 
in Pakistan. The representative said either you accept a 
carpet of gold or we will bury you under a carpet of bombs. 
This was in July. Then came September 11th and now it's 
Osama bin Laden. The government didn't know anything 
about terrorists the day before. But on September 11th, 
12th, and 13th, they suddenly have 19 faces in the paper 
saying these are the guys. When did you learn that? How 
did you learn that? Something is seriously wrong with this 




wmn^m/u r » h^/ rj^ffn r 



picture. Muslims and Arabs got all the blame and they went 
immediately to the Congress beating the drums of war. 

Do you want to know why people in the world hate 
America? You don't understand people the dirt that goes 
on in your name. And that's why the American people have 
to be awakened. Am I upsetting? I'm not trying to upset 
you. This entire war has been and still is about oil. Now 
that they've destroyed the Taliban, Mr. Hamid Karzai, who 
America set up, now will get the carpet of gold and let's 
see if that pipeline won't come through Afghanistan. It's 
not about love and world peace, it's about greed, oil, and 

This was in fact the president's true motive for war. The 
Bush agenda: invading the world, one economy at a time. 
The Bush Administration chose the Iraq sinkhole over 
public investment. The Iraq war is killing our economy. 
Our sons and daughters are dying and being maimed over 

America's junkie-greed toward oil. We, the people, 
need to restore the Constitution and condemn these war 
profiteers and Congress for buying Bush's war. 

Demonstrations like those of the March 19th Peace 
Movement are way overdue, direct actions must be taken 
every day targeting corporations and government officials 
profiting from or supporting this war. They are reaping 
millions of dollars in profits from the death and devastation 
in Iraq. Our country has been rocked to sleep and hijacked. 
Their actions are war crimes against humanity and crimes 
against peace. All the millions wasted funding these war 
crimes could have fed our hungry children, the homeless, 
fund homes for Katrina survivors, relieve families suffering 
from predator banks, provide jobs, education, health care, 
energy, housing, conservation, and paid down our national 
debt. American, enough is enough and there's been enough 
talk. Demonstrate 24 by 7. 

This is Where I Am 

It was a dark, cold December morning at 3:30 a.m. 1979. 
I sat naked in a solitary confinement prison strip-cell 
wrapped in a blanket of my own self-pity and depression 
contemplating suicide, sitting with a burden that I, myself, 
had allowed the enemy (Satan) to place on my shoulders. All 
the pain I've caused my family and my victims, all the lies, 
deceit, lust, greed, selfish self-centeredness, bitterness, 
and unforgiveness altogether made one big heavy weight of 
sin upon my shoulders. As I sat there, a question, like so 
many times before, came to mind, "Where are you, God?" 

I pondered the thought for a moment and then I heard 
the small, quaint voice from deep inside me, very small but 
yet large enough to radiate a great sense of love. The voice 
said, "This is where I am." 

At that very instant a picture fiashed in my mind like 
that of a thousand camera fiashes all in one spot. The 
picture, as quick as it was there, was gone, but the horrible 
image it portrayed is still there even now, 29 years later. 

It was a horrible and painful sight. A man, about my 
size, was nailed to a very rough-cut cross with spikes made 
of pure hate. The crown He wore was made from thorns 
filled with poisonous lies and anger. He was covered with 
blood from head to toe. His head was swollen twice its 
normal size. His fiesh was ripped and torn like raw, bloody 
hamburger, what little was left hung from His bones like 
dirty rags. "This is where I am," the voice said again. 

Again the huge fiash upon my mind; it was the same 
image as before, but there was something new. I was now 

there before the cross still wrapped in my depression 
and burning with my sins. I could no longer look at the 
cross. Now on my naked knees, I began to weep; I began to 
weep uncontrollably. Between sobs I could only speak four 
words--" Jesus, please forgive me." The voice comes again, 
"This is where I am." 

The huge fiash again, only much brighter now. I stand 
now with my back to the cross looking up with utter 
amazement. A light of pure love is shining on me. The Lord 
Jesus reaches down and sweeps His mighty hand over 
my burden of sins and they burst violently into a billion 
particles of fire and was gone. As I stood there still in awe. 
He takes His other hand with a pure white cloth and dipped 
it into the pool of blood at the foot of the cross and began to 
wipe my body with it like a mother bathes a newborn child. 
In a few moments His beautiful loving hands were gone. I 
then looked down at myself and noticed that I was clothed 
in the purest of pure fine white linen. So full of joy and 
with a great sense of freedom, I then turned to look back 
at the beautiful cross. Tears of great joy streamed down my 
face as I beheld the sight. There were my sins, along with 
millions of other people's sins and iniquity, nailed to the 
cross and covered by His precious blood. The voice comes 
again, "This is where I am." 

This was the last cry from the Holy Spirit for me to 
come back, but I only wrote it and didn't hear it. But I can 
find comfort in it now. Listen always to the Spirit. Every 
time we sin we continue to nail Jesus to that cross! 

A gift from my heart to my friends at The Beat Within 
and your loved ones! 

// if on want to fight a cai^se Iff life and have a seffse of 
pt4rpose, fight the cat4se ofhel^g a truth seeker Do^'the 
a follower, living In someone else 's shadow, he ml^e, he 
ifonrself, hnt first if on mnst confront ifonr demons, That 's 
the heg Inning of changing ifonr life, Is knowing ifonrself Take 
It from a lifer I've heen there, 

read the rest of Willie Kamlrez 's 3W0 fplece on /page 57^